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This is the FIFTY-FIFTH 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 1351 through 1375.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 55

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Nr. 1351:

At the half-century points in this series, it is customary to comment on the purpose and aims of these notes.  The purpose is not to give me an outlet for my opinions, but to enhance interest in the Germanna Colonies Mailing List.  The higher the readership, the better the chances are that someone will answer questions, send an interesting tidbit of information, or prove to be a cousin.

The Germanna Colonies are blessed by having so much information available which pertains to them.  Our history is rich and full of significant events and facts.  Many of you are mostly interested in your family history.  While our information in that area is not perfect, it is extensive, and new information, and means of interpretation, constantly arise.

In the last few notes we were talking about the fifty or so ancestors of Andreas Gaar, and his wife Eva Seidelmann.  This is fantastic.  Whether it can be matched by others is not known, but it gives us a vision of what might be possible.

How we might pursue these objectives among all of the families is not clear.  We could do more and perhaps organize ourselves better.  In the meantime we have this communication means to help us organize.  Recently, it appears that a Mini-Reunion of descendants is being planned for Texas.  That is an excellent purpose of this list.

We need to set some bounds for our hopes, as pertains to just which individuals we are talking about.  I have defined the Germanna Colonists as people living on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountain in Virginia, who had at least one ancestor, either male or female, from a German-speaking country (Germany, Switzerland, or Austria).  We now know that many of these people did not come directly to Virginia.  Some lived in other Colonies before they arrived in Virginia.  And, some of them did not stay in Virginia for long.  So, time of arrival, first settlement, or length of stay are not critical.

One consequence of this broadness is that we have subscribers whose interest in the Virginia counties of Madison, Rappahannock, Culpeper, and Fauquier is minimal.  But, if they find something here, they are welcome.  As we say, "We will leave the light burning."  Sometimes we will have questions posed to the list which seem far afield, but this is just a part of a good neighbor policy.  A neighbor may be a cousin, and probably is.  We just need to find out how we are cousins.

The Germanna Foundation provides a meeting place for all of us cousins to meet each other face to face.  Don't forget the Reunion this July.
(05 Feb 02)



Nr. 1352:

I return to the Gaar/Garr family to look in some more detail at the ancestors of Andreas Gaar and his wife Eva Seidelmann.  The occupations of many of the men are known.

For Andreas' family, we find the following occupations:

  • Andreas himself was a master weaver.
  • His father was a linen weaver.
  • His paternal grandfather was a master weaver.
  • His maternal grandfather was a cloth maker.
  • Andreas' great-grandfather, along the male line, was a "citizen, locksmith, and day laborer."  Apparently, he learned much of his living as a day worker while studying and working at the art of lock-smithing (described as a journeyman).
  • The original Hans Gahr was a farmer, apparently specializing in vegetables.  Probably Hans did not own any land, but worked for another person on the Kolmbach farm.
  • Other occupations mentioned in the family tree of Andreas were a master baker, an innkeeper, an assistant judge, all in the person of a great-grandfather.
  • Also there was another cloth maker, and there were a mason and a baker.

For Eva's family, we find the following occupations:

  • Eva's father was a farmer and linen weaver.
  • One grandfather was a weaver, and the other was a master weaver.
  • Another generation back there was an innkeeper, a weaver, and a man who was simply described as a subject of the Margrave of Sinbronn.
  • In earlier generations there was an innkeeper, who was also a judge and a mayor.
  • Another ancestor was a master baker.

On the whole, Andreas and Eva, and their families, were middle class people, where 95% of the people at that time and place were in the lowest group, maybe 4% were middle class, and fewer than 1% were the upper class.  Roughly, people of this time were divided into people who labored on farms, the townspeople, and the owners of the land.  By the standards of that day, the Andreas Gaar family had little reason to immigrate, as they were enjoying the "good life".  In fact, one wonders why they did leave.

Hans, the earliest of the Gaars/Gahrs/Gars, seems to have had humble beginnings, but this MIGHT have been the result of his migration under circumstances where he could bring little with him.  Starting with him, there was an improvement in the situation of the family members, which reached to the level of masters of recognized trades.

The pastor at Illenschwang, in 1733 or 1734, wrote that Andreas Gaar went with a party of 300 people.  This hints at a bit of history which has not been fully explored.  Nothing that Andreas or his son Adam wrote hinted of other people, as they did not give reports on other people who came from the area.
(06 Feb 02)



Nr. 1353:

One of the great-grandfathers of Andreas Gaar was Wolf Schubel.  At his death, the following was inscribed in the death register:

"Wolf Schubel, clothmaker, a very pious man, the most frequent church goer in the village [Frankenhofen], who held school for the children in his house for many years, was old 77 years less 12 weeks and 4 days.  On the 18th of August at 11 o'clock in the noon he slept over and was buried the following day."

For Eva Seidelmann:

"Eva, the daughter of Georg Seidelmann, and of his wife Barbara, because of feebleness and hard labor, baptized at home."

This Eva was the wife of Andreas Gaar.  Eva was born in 1689 and she came to America in 1732 at the age of 43.  We do not know when she died.  There is a question as to whether she might have been a mother after she came.  There is some evidence for it.

When the paternal grandmother of Eva was married, it was recorded that, "The bride went to church without crown and music."  This was the custom for girls who were not virgins.

When one set of the great grandparents of Eva were married, it was recorded:

"There were many foreign persons taking part in this wedding.  On the first day there were 13 tables, on the second day 10 tables.  Oh! how little do we consider the events in Hungary and the happenings in those times in the fight against the Turks."

The time would have been about 1625, when the Thirty Years' War was underway.  The Turks were not particular involved, though "Hungary" was.  The couple being married were said to be from Austria.  Whether this was the result of a migration due to the War is not known.

To understand what was happening in family history, and why, one must study the general history also.

It was said of Thomas Walther, great-great-grandfather of Eva:

"Thoma Walther, innkeeper, at this place, attended on the New Year's Day the morning sermon, then in the afternoon he lay down, in the evening or at night he died, and was buried the following day in the afternoon.  For many years he was a judge at Waizendorf and since 1610 he had been mayor."

In a future note I will discuss a "history", which, in contrast to the history here, is pure fiction.  Somehow, when the fiction writers take over, an ancestor tends to become more "noble" and the owner of a castle, as is the case with "Baron" Fischer.  It is not hard to detect the false ring to these stories, but people do believe them.  I much prefer the history of Andreas and Eva Gaar, with its realistic and true-to-life facts.
(07 Feb 02)



Nr. 1354:

In contrast to the solid story about the Gaar family that I have been reporting, a story about the Fisher family came to my attention.  For the sheer mass of malarkey, this family takes the prize.

With some variations, the story usually goes as follows.

Baron Fisher was a member of the Head Counsellor's [sic] of Frederick the Great.  One of his sons was Adam Fisher, from whom the American heirs claimed title to the vast [Fisher] estate.  The Baron's other sons died, leaving no immediate heirs.  Traditions which have been handed down in the family for centuries tell the same story . . . to the same effect, that Adam Fisher, while out hunting, shot a deer on the King's forest preserve, a thing which usually meant death to the offender; but, since Baron Fisher was one of Frederick's chief advisers, no action was taken against young Adam.  The Baron, however, considered the deed a disgrace to the family and sent the son away.

Adam Fisher came to America in the ship "Mary", and landed in New York.  There, his first son, Daniel, was born.  Adam then moved to Philadelphia, and later to the Valley of the Schuykill River in Pennsylvania.  This was in 1742.  [At this point you might like to remember that Frederick the Great only came to the throne in 1740, so Adam was moving very fast.]  Within ten miles of the city of Philadelphia, his other children were born, Jacob, Lewis, Abraham, and Adam.

Ten years after he had settled in Pennsylvania, Adam Fisher started for Europe to claim his father's estate, but while waiting for the ship, he was attacked by smallpox and became blind.

Adam Fisher never went back to Europe.  When he died his widow bound the youngest son, Lewis, as an apprentice to a blacksmith.  Lewis ran away from his master and settled in Culpeper Court House, VA.  Lewis had four sons, Stephan, Barnett, Caleb, and Adam.

Adam II (son of Lewis) married Elizabeth Garr.  Simeon, Adam's and Elizabeth's son, went back to Germany to claim the estate and mysteriously disappeared.  A daughter of Adam and Elizabeth, Susanna, married Joseph Schooling.  A son, Jeremiah, married Mary Backner Slaughter.  A daughter, Elizabeth, married Daniel Crump.  A son, Adam III, married Nancy Waller.  A daughter married Peter Watts.  A daughter, Anna, married Henry Kalfus.

(08 Feb 02)



Nr. 1355:

Little did Lewis Fisher anticipate the stream of events that he would launch when he wrote in his will that, if his estate in Germany were ever recovered, it was to be divided among his children.  Now the statement that he wrote was common enough.  Many emigrants from Germany were able to recover something from the estates in Germany.  In fact, it was such a common event that printers in America made forms, with blanks that could be used in filing for a claim against an estate in Germany.  What Lewis did not do was to specify what the nature of the estate was.  It might have been half a cow, or it might have been a fractional interest in a house there.

But the Fisher heirs did not lack imagination.  At least one heir did start from Virginia for Germany in the eighteenth century, but he died en route.  As time went by, the size of the estate grew until it was the entire town of Hannover.  The rumor persisted.  To have such a large estate, Ludwig Fischer must have been a nobleman, and so he became a Baron.  All of this time there was a total lack of evidence, only speculation.

Finally, on 6 Feb 1890, more than one hundred years after the death of Lewis, one hundred and fifty heirs of Louis Fisher met in the parlors of the Louisville Hotel.  The hotel proved to be too small for the crowd that came, so they adjoined to the Liederkranz Hall.  They elected a chairman and organized as "The Fisher Heirs", with the express purpose of recovering the Louis Fisher estate in Germany.  An executive committee was elected and their first proposal was to assess dues (five dollars).  Then, Judge David R. Murray was elected to go to Germany to investigate the claim.

On his return from Germany, Judge Murray was confident that the Fisher estate was not a myth, but he had failed to find where it was located.  (No one knew where Lewis had come from.)  To aid in the search, he had hired a German agent.  He added that the heirs must be positively identified.

On 6 Dec 1890, the executive committee was dismayed by the letter from the German agent, which stated that he had been unable to find any estate by any Fisher.  Some committee members became frustrated and disillusioned.  The committee took a new tack of seeing if they could find the antecedent of Louis Fisher in Virginia.  This search was in vain.  Meanwhile, the funds were exhausted and appeals to the membership were bringing in little money.  They had spent more money than they had received.

It was the beginning of the end.  No estate had been identified in Germany, nor had the ancestors of Louis Fisher been identified.  The most positive result of the entire endeavor was the advance made in detailing some of the descendants of Lewis Fisher.  Mattie Fisher Gashweiler assembled the collected information into a large, pictorial tree.  More than 1664 names were included on the chart, which is still available, from time to time, today.  Most descendants, but not all, have concluded that the whole idea was without merit.

Meanwhile, the story lives on with embellishments, as I gave it in the last note from a story on the web.  There are several other points where history is in error on the family, but the attempts to correct them have been frustrating.  Errors do not die easily.
(09 Feb 02)



Nr. 1356:

I have been talking about the false stories that have circulated about Ludwig Fischer, and I didn't mention them all.  To be truthful in my advertising, I must admit that there are some gaps in our knowledge of the man.  And, at the same time, we have more facts than we have been able to assimilate.

In the 1739 list of Orange County tithables, Lewis Fisher makes an appearance twice.  Once he is in one enumerator's precinct, on the south side of the Robinson River, and the other time he in another enumerator's list, on the north side of the Robinson River.  (It just may be that the southern place was where he stayed in the winters, while in the summers he went to his northern place.  I was going to make a little joke that a Baron ought to be able to afford two places, but I am afraid that if I do, it will appear in print tomorrow as evidence that he was a Baron.)

So far we do not know what to make of his appearance twice.  Could it be there were two Lewis Fishers?  Did the enumerators get their evidence from someone else who was confused?  Maybe he did have two farms, and he lived for periods of time on each one.

If we were to find where Lewis Fisher hailed from in Germany, we might find our clues there.  So far, we do not have definitive evidence.  When Christopher Zimmerman took some children for baptism, sponsors included a Lewis Fisher and an Anna Barbara Fisher.  These are the names of Lewis Fisher and his wife in Virginia.  These sponsors are too early in time to be the ones that we definitely know in Virginia, but perhaps they were the parents of the Lewis Fisher that we do know.  It might be the case that there was two couples in Virginia who had the same names, which would confuse the situation.

There is a document of the 1740's in the Orange County papers which refers to the "estate of Lewis Fisher", but James Brown argued that it was not proof of the death of anyone, since everyone, living or dead, has an estate.

The family of Lewis Fisher is fairly easily to construct (though it has been badly constructed by different sources).  There are, above and beyond this family, other Fishers who appear to be living in the community.  I am inclined to the view that there were two Lewis Fishers, probably father and son, in the Robinson River community.  I think it is likely that the father had at least two sons, one of which was Lewis, Jr.  Lewis, Jr. had a brother who was the source of some of the other Fishers.  It would seem to be that the first place to look for information would be in Germany.

Since Christopher Zimmerman had his children baptized at Sulzfeld, I would search there and in the neighboring churches for information.
(11 Feb 02)



Nr. 1357:

The process of immigration from Germany to America was not trivial.  In the eighteenth century, a serf or peasant usually required permission from his ruler to emigrate or leave.  Using the report of Prof. Robert Rabe, who, in turn, used the laws of the German Duchy of the Palatinate as his guide, I submit a few thoughts.

In theory, it was necessary to obtain a "Permission to Emigrate" by both serfs and free men.  To obtain the Permission to Emigrate, the person had to pay an emigration tax which amounted to 10% of his wealth.

By the imposition of the tax, the ruler was not trying to make a profit.  He was hoping to discourage emigration, because the departure of a person subtracted from the total value of the duchy, by removal of the goods a person took with him, and by removal of a labor source.  Also, in the future, the ruler would be deprived of a tax source from departing persons.  So, the aim was to discourage emigration, which was done by placing an economic penalty on the person who proposed to leave.

The serf had to submit a petition to be released from bondage, and this probably involved a fee.  After this, there was the 10% tax mentioned above.  If the serf had sons of an age to serve in the military, then there were additional fees if the sons left before their military service was completed.

Though this tax schedule sounds as if it would be difficult for a serf to emigrate, because of his limited resources, it was often easier for a serf to emigrate than for a richer person.  The serfs added very little wealth to the state, whereas the richer were desirable to have in the duchy.  Beginning in 1741, only propertyless serfs were allowed to emigrate.  Emigration was viewed as a method of "upgrading" the population by letting the least productive members leave, while trying to retain the most productive members.

Eleven years later, stronger measures were taken to discourage "the deeply seated emigration mania that was prevalent among the foolish and the careless."

It would seem logical for someone who wanted to emigrate to leave without obtaining permission.  And, many people did just exactly that.  The danger was that one might be caught, with heavy penalties set in judgment against the person.  In 1764 in the Palatinate, those who attempted to leave without permission, but were caught, were deprived of all of their wealth and property.

Even though stringent laws were enacted in the Palatinate against emigration, especially unauthorized emigration, the state became less and less effective in deterring emigrants.  Increased fees and more stringent regulations had only a short-lived, temporary effect.
(13 Feb 02)



Nr. 1358:

People who left Germany without permission jeopardized their possible inheritances.  We have a recorded case in the person of Melchoir Brumbach, who had "wandered off to the island of Carolina".  Melchoir had been fined 68 Reichsthaler for his action (presumably he left without permission), and it was to be paid from his inheritance.  His brother Caspar appealed this decision, probably on behalf of Melchoir.  Melchoir Brumbach was one of the original settlers at Fort Germanna.

We heard recently of Lewis Fisher, who wrote in his will that if his estate were recovered in Germany it was to be divided among his children.  Perhaps this estate, whatever it was, was in jeopardy because he had failed to obtain permission to leave.  I believe in some cases the estates were simply confiscated if one had left without permission.  I do not know if the penalty or assessment extended to members of the family or not (they do today in the form of IRS assessment on survivors; as the nearest kin, one is responsible for the tax debts of another).

People who wanted to emigrate had to find their way to a seaport.  In the case of those living near the Rhine River, the decision of the route to take was simple.  It was the Rhine.  It was not a free trip, even if a person could build his own raft to drift along with the current.  From southwest Germany to the mouth of the Rhine at Rotterdam, there were dozens of principalities.  Each of these could establish a custom house and demand custom payments.  Many Germans were broke by the time they arrived at Rotterdam.  A few people, fed up with the loss of money, simply got off the boat or raft and walked overland.  This too had its problems, as there were still border crossings.

The emigrants from Siegen probably used the Sieg River, which flows into the Rhine.  At Siegen, the Sieg River is not large (it starts only a few tens of miles from Siegen), so there may have been navigation problems on it.

At the time of the first and second Germanna Colonies, the trans-Atlantic crossing had not developed into a science.  An emigrant usually had to find his way to England, often to London.  Once in London, a ship had to be found which was crossing the Atlantic.  Later, the ships started going to Rotterdam at the start of the "shipping season" to look for passengers.

As this phase developed, there were two classes of ships.  One class consisted of those ships which were definitely in the business of transporting passengers across the Atlantic.  The second class consisted of the opportunity seekers, namely those ships who would carry passengers if there were a large demand.
(14 Feb 02)



Nr. 1359:

Originally, the Germans wanting to emigrate to America had to find their way to London, and then had to find a ship from London going to their destination.  Before long, the ship owners started calling at Rotterdam and picking up passengers there.  How did these ship owners regard the business?

I made a small study of the ships arriving at Philadelphia from 1727 to 1775.  Several interesting facts turned up.  During 1727 to 1775 at Philadelphia, the passengers had to "register" upon landing.  These names have been compiled by Rupp and others.  Using Rupp, I found interesting data.  A total of 252 ships (identifiable by name) docked with passengers from foreign ports, i.e., from Germany.  There was a total of 169 different ships involved.  The number of ships making only one trip was 119.

This is amazing.  About half of the ships made only one trip carrying passengers from Germany.  One would tend to assume that when a ship went into the business of transporting passengers that it would stay in the business.  How many businesses engage in any activity for such a short period of time?  Surely the word would spread among ship owners that such and such had tried carrying passengers, but had given it up after one trip.  This would hardly encourage others to try it also.

A few ships made a regular business of taking Germans to America.  Four ships made ten or more trips, namely, the Samuel, the Loyal Judith, the Phoenix, and the Saint Andrew.  Fifteen ships made only two trips.

This very strange set of statistics might be explained by the large fluctuations in passenger volume.  There were severe irregularities in the year to year passenger count.  This discouraged anyone from permanently going into the business.  The low points in the traffic could not support many ships.

In years when there was an above average demand for passenger transport, owners would hurriedly convert an existing ship, probably used for freight mostly, into a passenger ship.  This meant building bunks below decks.  A minimum amount of effort went into this.  The chances were that the captain had no experience in transporting a ship full of passengers.

The net result was that a German emigrant had about a one in two chance that he would be sailing with a ship which had been quickly converted to passenger traffic, and captained by a man who had never done this sort of thing before.  These were hardly the specifications for an enjoyable cruise.

One other thing that turned up from the study was that British-built ships were better than America ships in the sense that they lasted longer.  None of the ships had a really long life.  Many only lasted for a handful of years.
(15 Feb 02)



Nr. 1360:

In the previous note, I examined how often ships repeated the trans-Atlantic crossing carrying German emigrants.  Generally, they were not repeaters.  Prior to that study, I had made a smaller study of the ship masters, or captains as we usually call them.  I arrived at a similar conclusion, namely that there were very few repeaters among the captains.  Inexperience was typical.

The period of the study of the ship masters was 1727 to 1741, when 89 ships docked at Philadelphia carrying Germany immigrants.  Of the 89 captains of these ships, two men were regulars.  In this interval, Hugh Percy came six times, always on the ship Samuel, one of the larger ships.  He was equaled by John Stedman who used the ship Pennsylvania Merchant, later renamed the Saint Andrew.  James Allen came twice, David Crocket came three times, Walter Goodman came three times, James Marshall came twice, Samuel Merchant came twice, Edward Painter came twice, Daniel Reid came twice, Charles Stedman came three times, and William Vittery came twice.

Fifty-eight masters came only once.  Thirty-five of the dockings had a captain who had repeated, or was to repeat, the trip.  In other words, a lack of experience was typical.  The qualification to be a captain was probably only that he could bring the ship in to the desired port.

This inexperience was probably responsible for the generally poor conditions on board the ships.

Two of the captains, the Stedman brothers, were known to, and favored by, the Germans.  They had a favorable reputation with the Germans.  Experience and quality of the ship may have made the difference.  Since the ships made regular voyages carrying Germans, perhaps the ships were better equipped.

Conditions on board ships and upon arrival in Philadelphia were so bad that a group was formed to protect German immigrants.  That was the German Society of Pennsylvania, which still exists and functions today.  The program or aims of the Society have changed over the course of time, but it still exists.
(16 Feb 02)



Nr. 1361:

The Germanna Colonies were to receive a large influx of additional emigrants in the year 1738.  Most of them were coming from around Freudenberg, just outside Siegen.  Advertising by the shippers had been strong, and more than six thousand Germans responded that year.  Eighteen family units from Freudenberg and its environs totaled about fifty people.  Probably some communications from Virginia had preceded the decision to emigrate.  The names of the people were set down by the Freudenberg pastor in the burial record under the date of 13 March 1738 (NS).  These people were most unfortunate in their choice of a ship at Rotterdam.  They chose the Oliver, which was going to Virginia, and they were probably influenced by this destination.

The six thousand or so people who decided to emigrate in 1738 was one cause of the problem.  It overwhelmed the shippers.  The weather did not cooperate either, and the overloaded ships did not make the expected times.

The ship Oliver left Rotterdam for Cowes on the Isle of Wight.  Captain William Walker of the Oliver felt, as the ship was underway, that it was too heavily loaded.  He returned to port and resigned his command.  His employers solved the problem, not by removing some of the load, but by finding another captain (William Wright) who was willing to take the ship.  The second departure was early in July.  The crossing to Cowes was speedy, only a couple of days, but the Oliver remained in port for six weeks.  During this time the ship was inspected and reloaded.  It was also necessary to wait for favorable winds.  Upon leaving, the heavy seas damaged the Oliver and it sought refuge in the harbor at Plymouth.

The Oliver did not arrive at Virginia until early January.  By this time, the passengers had been living on board the ship for more than six months.  In the last days before reaching Virginia, the food and water had been exhausted.  As the ship neared Virginia, the passengers rose in armed resistance and demanded that the captain anchor at the nearest land and procure water and food.  While the captain was ashore with some of the crew and passengers looking for food and water, heavy seas caused the ship to pull free from its mooring and be driven against land.  It sprang a serious leak and started to sink.  Many of the passengers below decks were trapped.  At the same time, the weather was so cold that others froze to death.

The death rate was so high that, of the eighteen family units from Freudenberg, parts of only five or six families made the journey successfully.  About two out of three people who had started the journey in the Netherlands died before land was reached in Virginia.

Even John Stedman, a captain who was liked by the Germans, had a difficult journey, and he lost 120 of his passengers.  His reaction was to resign from transporting Germans.  Never more did he transport Germans to America.  His brother had an even worse time, as he lost five-sixths of his 300 passengers.
(18 Feb 02)



Nr. 1362:

Rev. H. Max Lentz wrote a “History of the Lutheran Churches in Boone County, Kentucky” in 1902.  The publication of this book was made possible by the cooperation of members of the Rouse, Barlow, Crigler, Floyd, Graves, and Tanner families, among others.

The first Lutheran Church in Boone County was probably the result of a trip by Rev. William Carpenter of Madison, Virginia, who made a trip to Kentucky in 1804.  Rev. Lentz, claiming to have the journal of Rev. Carpenter before him, says the trip cost Rev. Carpenter eighteen pounds.  Rev. Carpenter did not record the purposes of his trip, but it is known that, in the following year, a large contingent of people left Madison for Kentucky.  The group was said to consist of George Rouse, Elizabeth Rouse, John House, Milly House, Frederick Zimmerman, Rose Zimmerman, Ephraim Tanner, Susanna Tanner, John Rouse, Nancy Rouse, and Elizabeth Hoffman.  They are said to have arrived on November 25, 1805, having come by wagon through the Cumberland Gap, but proof of this is not available.

At this time, Burlington, the county seat of Boone County consisted of a few log houses, a log court house, and log jail.  The town of Florence did not exist at this date.  Across the Ohio River, Cincinnati consisted of two brick houses and two frame houses.  Some of the early information was drawn from the discourse, “A History of the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Hopeful Church, Boone Co, Ky.”, dated January 6, 1854.

Within the year of the migration to Kentucky, the families resolved to hold worship services.  Without a pastor, they had prayers, hymns, and then a sermon read by Ephraim Tanner.  These services were held regularly until October of 1813, conducted in the German language.  The Kentucky members had sought advice from Rev. Carpenter in Virginia, who sent them a copy of a Constitution, and advised them to organize a church.  Rev. Lentz said that he had this Constitution in his hands as he wrote.  It was translated from the German as:

“We, the undersigned, living in Boone County, State of Kentucky, members of the Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed Church, unite in the following articles of agreement for our government ­

  1. We will unite in the establishment of public worship in our midst, according to the Protestant faith, and by God’s help we will constantly uphold it.

  2. We will unite in the erection of a small house, which shall be regarded as a union house of worship, in which we will unitedly worship God."
To be continued
(20 Feb 02)



Nr. 1363:

[Continuing the Church Constitution]

  1. One of us, for whom it is most convenient, shall give an acre of ground upon which said house shall be built.  And this acre of ground, with all that shall be built thereon, or that pertains to it, shall forever belong to this united congregation and their successors; so that he who gives it shall not have the power to sell to any other person.

  2. To prevent discord and offenses, no one shall be permitted to conduct public worship in the house owned by us, unless he is a regular Lutheran or Reformed minister.

  3. We will assemble ourselves every Sabbath or as often as circumstances will permit, and by reading a sermon and with singing and prayer we will strengthen one another when we have no pastor.

  4. We will unite in inviting a worthy minister, at least once a year, or oftener if possible, to preach the Word of God to us, according to the foundation of the prophets and apostles, and administer the holy sacraments, for which we will reward him according to our ability.

  5. It shall be the duty of each one belonging to this congregation to lead an orderly, Christian and virtuous life; to abstain from all gross sins, such as cursing, swearing, card-playing, drunkenness, and all such ungodly actions.

  6. Should any one be guilty of any of the above sins, which may God in his mercy prevent, than the remaining brethren shall have the power and it shall be their duty to deal with him according to the directions of our Savior: Matt. xviii 15-17.

The above articles shall remain unchanged until all the members, or at least a majority of them, shall deem it necessary to alter or amend them.

Adopted this 6th day of January 1806.

George Rouse                 Ephraim Tanner
John Rouse                     John House
Fred. Zimmerman          Michael Rouse
John Beemon                 Jacob Rouse
Daniel Beemon              Simeon Tanner

[According to Rev. Lentz' word, not all of these signatures were made at the time of the charter.  Some were added later.]
(21 Feb 02)



Nr. 1364:

[continuing with Hopeful Church in Boone County, KY]

For eight years, the pioneers in Boone Co., Kentucky, who came from Madison County, Virginia, were without a pastor.  Still, they held services regularly with Ephraim Tanner taking a leading role.  He was joined by many members of his family, both brothers and sisters.  In turn, Ephraim Tanner and his wife Susanna House had fourteen children, so the genes of the Tanner family course through many citizens of Boone Co.

It is said that Rev. Carpenter came from Virginia twice to hold services.  In October 1813, he moved to Boone Co., and became the regular pastor at the church.  Perhaps it is fiction, perhaps it is true, but these are some of the stories about Rev. Carpenter.

He was quiet and dignified but with a pleasant word for everyone.  By his appearance, he stood out with his knee britches and gold buckles.  He was very kind to the poor and would help them.  Once, upon catching a neighbor stealing corn from his crib, he told the thief, "You would surely not come here unless you needed it.  Now fill your sack.  When you need corn again, come and ask me for it, and do not try to steal it."

Once, when asked if he had corn for sale, he asked if the person had money to buy it.  When the man said that he did have the money, the Rev. said he didn't have any corn for sale.  "Plenty of my neighbors have corn for sale, but I need mine for the poor people who have no money."

Just before he died, he burned $300.00 worth of notes for corn.  He lived until 1833, when he was 70 years of age.

We have no photographs of him, but we do have one of his eldest son, Jeremiah Carpenter.

The first communion by Rev. Carpenter in his adopted church was held on Whitsunday, in 1814.  A list of the participants persists.  It includes:

Christoph Zimmerman, ux. Maria,
Daniel Beemon,
George Rausch, ux. Elizabeth,
John Rausch, ux. Nancy,
Friederich Tanner,
Jemima Tanner,
John Beemon ux. Peggy,
John Hauss, ux Milley,
Joshua Beemon,
Friederich Zimmerman, ux. Rosina,
Layanna Christler,
Aaron Tanner,
Benjamin Aylor, ux. Anna,
Jacob Hauss, ux. Susanna,
Rosina Rausch,
Nancy Christler,
Susanna Barlow,
Elizabeth Hofman,
Jacob Rausch, ux. Anna,
Amey Rausch,
Molly Rausch,
Peggy Hauss,
William Carpenter, ux. Polly.
(Summa 35)

(ux.=uxor (Latin, "Wife")

At the Congregational Meeting, held 6 January 1815, a new and larger constitution was proposed and adopted.  Provision was made to elect three deacons every three years.  The first elected were Daniel Beemon, George Rouse, and Ephraim Tanner.  At the end of that time, Ephraim Tanner was reelected, and Jacob Holsclau and Ephraim Utz were elected to serve with him.  At the next election, in 1821, Jacob Rouse and John House were elected to serve with Ephraim Tanner.

Apparently this Second Constitution was written in German also, since the Deacons were called "Vorsteher".  (It was not until 1846 that an English translation was made of the constitution.)
(22 Feb 02)



Nr. 1365:

[continuing with Hopeful Church in Boone County, KY]

Within a couple of years after Rev. Carpenter went to Hopeful Church, a new constitution was adopted.  It, too, was written in German.  It was more detailed and showed stronger Lutheran sympathies than the former constitution, which had the flavor of a union church with the Reformed.  The constitution was explicit about the duties of the pastor and the deacons, and it said some things very plainly about the duties of the members, to wit:

He must model his life according to the Christian ordinances and, if he deviates therefrom, he must be cheerfully corrected.  Everyone must contribute according to his means as God has blessed him, whether it be much or little, for the maintaining and carrying forward of God's work in the congregation.  Through the mercy of God, we should avoid all gross sins and vices, such as cursing and swearing, lying and cheating, carnal sins, fornication and adultery, drunkenness, immoral plays, gambling, obscenity, horse-racing, as also hatred, enmity, strife against neighbors, and all other sins and vices, forbidden in the word of God and offensive to a true Christian...

In 1823, the congregation took up the question of a new church.  Father Carpenter spoke upon this subject, and became so deeply affected that he gave vent to his feelings, burst into tears, and said:

"Alle bauen gute Haeuser and lassen Gott in der Hütte wohnen!"  [All build good houses and let God live in the hut.]

The effect upon the members was so strong that they resolved to build a new church.  So in the summer of 1823, a log church was built, 25 ft. by 25 ft. with an end galley, and a high pulpit.  [The old church survived until at least 1900, when it was used as a barn.]

The constitution of 1815 was signed as follows:

William Carpenter Daniel Beemon George Rouse
Ephraim Tanner Christopher Zimmerman Frederick Tanner
Jacob Rouse Benjamin Aylor John House
John Rouse John Beemon Aaron Tanner
Simeon Tanner Michael Rouse Jeremiah Carpenter
William Rouse, Sr. Abraham Rouse John Crisler
David Crisler Jonathan Carpenter Jeremiah Rouse
Elisha Rouse


This constitution was written in German, which sufficed until the 1846 translation by Noah Surface.  The services were conducted exclusively in the German language until 1824, when Father Carpenter began to use English half of the time in preaching.  Within a short time English was used altogether.  Apparently Carpenter was willing to use English even earlier, but the conservatism was very strong and Carpenter was careful not force matters and bring about trouble.

Abraham Beemon was the first recorded baptism.  Besides the members from Virginia, a number of people of the neighborhood were converted to the Lutheran faith.  Sometimes entire families were baptized at one time.
(23 Feb 02)



Nr. 1366:

[continuing with Hopeful Church in Boone County, KY]

On the 10th of July, 1832, Father Carpenter wrote to Rev. Jacob Crigler of Berlin, Pa., in which he said:

"I have now been preaching the blessed gospel for a space of forty-five years, this last spring.  I was about twenty-five when I began, and am now a little upwards of three score and ten; and according to the course of nature and my feelings, I cannot possibly hold out much longer.  We may indeed expect the ordinary blessings of divine Providence, but cannot expect miracles.  I have often had heavy thoughts about my little congregation here in the wilderness."

Rev. Carpenter urged Rev. Jacob Crigler to come and take charge of the congregation.  Writing of a communion service, he wrote:

"On Whitsuntide we had the sacraments in our church, and I had the pleasure of seeing our old father-in-law, your two brothers and their wives at the communion table, but too many of the members stood back that I could have wished to have seen there.  There were only twenty-one communicants, and a few years back I had as many as sixty-two."

Less than a year later, on 18 Feb., 1833, Father Carpenter went to his reward.  As recorded in the Hebron Baptismal Register in Virginia, Wilhelm Zimmermann had been born 25 Mar 1762.  Thus, he was just shy of his 71nd birthday.

The church was without a pastor for about fourteen months, but the Rev. Jacob Crigler (in 1826 he spelled his name as Kriegler) came in April of 1834.  He was the son of Aaron and Catherine Crigler, and had been born in Virginia, 15 Jan. 1778.  Father Crigler was first married to Lydia Utz, on her eighteenth birthday, 15 Jan 1799.  She died, leaving two children, and Jacob married Nellie Tanner in 1808.  They had twelve children.

Jacob Crigler had been pastor in Berlin, PA, for a number of years.  He was active in denominational affairs, both in Pennsylvania and in Kentucky.  Two brothers of Father Crigler, Lewis and Nicholas, had moved to Boone County before Jacob did.  After Jacob came, two other brothers, Joel and Jonas, came also.  With Jacob and Nellie's twelve children, and the siblings of both Jacob and Nellie, their families left a mark on Boone County.

Father Crigler held his first communion in the fall of 1834, when sixty-nine communicants came, including twelve people who were confirmed.  The record of this was made in English, for the first time, and, at the annual meeting on 6 Jan. 1835, the minutes were first recorded in English; however, it was stated that the discipline was read in German.

The Kentucky synod was organized at Louisville in 1835, with Jacob Crigler elected as the first President.  He is said to the author of the slogan, "Union, Concentration of Effort, and Decisive Action".

I will end the discussion of Hopeful Church here.
(25 Feb 02)



Nr. 1367:

A request has been made for a commentary on the section on Germanna in I. Daniel Rupp's book, "Thirty Thousand Names", to use the short form of the title of this 1876 book.  The material is familiar to a student of Germanna history, and one can tell who the first source was, even before the first sentence is completed.  Rupp does cites his sources, so the author is confirmed.  This is Rev. Hugh Jones, who lived in Virginia from about 1717 to 1722 when he returned to England.  He was a good friend of Lt. Gov. Spotswood, and much of his information came from Spotswood.  In 1724, Jones wrote a book which was published in England, "Present Condition of Virginia".

Jones picked up a fact or two from one place and used them is another place, and sometimes he made minor errors in the misapplication of the facts.  He refers to the Germans at Germanna as "some Germans sent over by Queen Anne".  It is true that, when Christopher Graffenried passed through Virginia in 1710, he showed Spotswood a letter from Queen Anne, stating that Spotswood was to see that Graffenried's colony received land.  Also, Queen Anne was responsible when the large group of Germans was sent to New York.  From this involvement of Queen Anne, including also the use of her name in the coined name "Germanna" (Germ for German + Anna for Anne), Jones falsely concluded that the First Germanna Colony had been sent over by her.  This is not the conclusion that is generally made.

Rupp, in quoting from Jones, runs paragraphs together.  The reader of Rupp could falsely conclude some things that Jones never said.  Furthermore, it is not even clear that Jones had distinguished, in his own mind, the First and Second Germanna Colonies as separate entities.  Some of his statements are ambiguous.  In speaking about the Germans sent over by Queen Anne, he says that "they have now removed further up the river".  At the time he left Virginia (which is assumed to be his last input on the state of Virginia), the Germans who "lived farther up the river" were the Second Colony.  He may have been thinking of the First Colony, who had moved farther away from Germanna by 1722, but they were hardly "up the river".  Again, he has taken some facts and misapplied them.

Jones goes on to say that there are Germans beyond those farther "up the river".  From the things that he says about them, he is talking about the Second Colony.  He associates these Germans with Beverley, grapes, and naval stores.  From the letters of Spotswood, we know that this would be the Second Colony.

It is not at all clear that Jones ever got out of Williamsburg.  His description of Germanna and the Germans sounds as if he is quoting hearsay.  I don't believe that his description was based on first hand knowledge.  And when Rupp quotes from Jones, he adds to the confusion.  It shows how difficult it is to be precise about history.
(27 Feb 02)



Nr. 1368:

Rupp also quoted Col. (William) Byrd, who wrote "A Progress to the Mines", but Rupp took his material from "Howe's Historical Collection", which quoted what Col. Byrd had written:

"This famous town consists of Col. Spotswood's enchanted castle on one side of the street, and a baker's dozen of ruinous tenements on the other, where so many German families had dwelt some years ago, but have now moved ten miles higher up, in the forks of the Rappahannock, to land of their own."

Again, as in the last note, there seems to be some confusion about the two Germanna colonies and perhaps Byrd did not understand the distinction.  His comments have puzzled some writers because the description of Byrd does not agree with Fontaine's description, which said there were nine houses.  Byrd says thirteen (a "bakers dozen").  Some people concluded that the thirteen houses were for the Second Colony, but we know that the Second Colony members were at another location, on the opposite side of the Rapidan River, and slightly upstream from Fort Germanna.  There seems to be good evidence that Spotswood built his home on the site of Fort Germanna, so it would seem that the tenements on the other side of the street did refer to the homes of the First Colony Germans.

First, there is a sixteen-year difference between the visit of Fontaine (in 1715), in which he put the number of homes at nine, and the visit of Byrd (in 1732), in which he put the number at thirteen.  There is no reason to believe that the number of homes remained at nine.  We know that Spotswood's second cousin, Francis Hume, was installed as supervisor of the Germans.  He probably rated a house.  The First Colony did have a number of bachelors.  Some of them may have married and built homes.  I see no great difficulty in having the nine houses described by Fontaine grow to thirteen houses in a few more years.

The Germans at Fort Germanna moved something more like twenty miles than the ten miles that Byrd said.  Where Byrd was really in error was not in the miles, but in specifying that the location was the Fork of the Rappahannock, which was not correct for the First Colony.  It was the Second Colony that was in the Fork.

From Jones' comments in the previous note and Byrd's comments here, we might conclude that most commentators of that day did not understand clearly that there were Germans who came at different times, and who were following differing paths.  The observers then just understand there were Germans.  They heard different things about them, and tried to make a unified story.  So, they have some of the Second Colony people doing the things that the First Colony was responsible, for and vice versa.  After all, the concept of a First Colony and a Second Colony are modern inventions.  To the English of the eighteenth century, there simply were Germans.
(28 Feb 02)



Nr. 1369:

I have some questions which pertain to J. Michael Smith (Schmidt), Jr.  He came to Virginia in 1717, at the age of five, with his father and mother.  His father had the same name, but I believe the father was commonly called Michael Smith.  The son was inclined to use a "J" or "John" as a part of his name.

The father, as Michael Smith, was one of the two collectors who went with Stoever on the fund-raising trip to Europe.  Just prior to this trip, he was a collector of funds in Virginia to support Stoever.  The father's will, written in 1760, left all of his land to his only son, John Michael Smith, Jr.  Apparently there were no daughters.

J. Michael Smith, Jr., married Anna Magdalena Thomas, a sister of John Thomas, Jr., and a stepdaughter of Michael Kaefer.  In 1742, Michael Smith, Jr., was deeded 600 acres by Christian Clement.  After his father's death, Michael, Jr., was the owner of more than 1000 acres of land.  He disposed of this land in a series of deeds to his three sons and four sons-in-law over the period of time, from 1762 to 1772.  During the first three transfers in 1762, Anna Magdalena Thomas, his wife, signed also.  Later in 1771 and 1772, she does not appear on the deeds, which probably indicates that she had died.

In 1783, J. Michael Schmitt is the last name on the communion list.  Earlier in the year, there were two Michael Schmitts at a communion service.  In the prior year, 1782, J. Michael Smith and his wife, Catharina, were present.  In 1775, the first year of recorded names at communion, there were two Michael Smiths.  One of the Michaels might have been J. Michael, and the other might have been his first cousin, once removed, the son of Nicholas, who was the son of Matthias Smith.  Neither of these Michaels had a wife listed in 1775.  All of this is given to help identify the man.

My first question, and perhaps the most important one, is, "When did J. Michael Smith die?"  I am not aware of any estate settlement for him.  His major assets, the land, had been given away already.

It would be of interest to know who Catharina, the second wife, was.

The name J. Michael Smith appears outside of Culpeper County in Virginia, even as far afield as Pennsylvania.  Does this name always refer to the same man, or were there two or more men of this name?
(01 Mar 02)



Nr. 1370:

[A reader requested more information about the family of J. Michael Smith, Jr.]  We think that we know the family of J. Michael Smith, because of the records of the land he gave away, in which he named his sons and sons-in-law.  (I do not know of a will or estate settlement for him, which is one of the reasons that prompted the previous note.)  The first three deeds were in 1762, when J. Michael Smith was about fifty years old.

The first deed (28 Jan 1762) was for love and affection to John Berry, Jr., and his wife Susannah, who is named as a daughter.  Then, on 15 Apr 1762, he gave land to his son-in-law, Adam Barler, to his son Zachariah Smith, and to his son Adam Smith.  J. Michael's wife, Anna Magdalena Thomas, signed all of these deeds, but she signed none of the following deeds.

On 31 Dec 1771, more land was given to Zacharias.  Also, land was given to his son-in-law George Christler, to his son-in-law John Marbes, plus a joint deed of gift to his son Adam, son John, and son-in-law Adam Barler.  On 16 Mar 1772, he gave more land to George Christler, more to his son John, and more to his son Adam.  Then, on 17 May 1772, he gave more land to his son-in-law John Marbes.

The children are:

  1. Susannah, who married John Berry, Jr.,
  2. Mary, who married Adam Berler,
  3. Zachariah,
  4. Adam,
  5. Anna Magdalena, who married George Christler,
  6. John, and
  7. Catharine who married John Marbes.

The sons all moved to Kentucky about the time of the Revolution.  They were very early there.  In fact, Zachariah furnished proof that he had raised a corn crop in 1776 in Kentucky County.

The land given to John Marbes does not name Catharine as a daughter, but the Hebron baptismal records furnish us the evidence.  In 1776, Catharine Marbes brought a child, Sara, for baptism and she admitted that her husband was not the father.  Rev. Franck cringed a bit at performing the baptism but he did do so saying, "Nevertheless, the child's birth is recorded."  At this baptism, the sponsors were Jacob Holtzclaw and his wife Susanna, and a Hoffman (first name illegible).  Sara was born 23 Jul 1776, and the mother brought the baby in for baptism five days later.
(02 Mar 02)



Nr. 1371:

Zachariah Smith was the son of J. Michael Smith (Jr.), and was possibly born around 1735.  He died in Mercer Co., KY, about 1816.  He married Ann Elizabeth Fishback, the daughter of John Frederick Fishback and his wife, Ann Elizabeth Holtzclaw.  Therefore, Ann Elizabeth Fishback had two ancestors in the First Germanna Colony.  There is a record that Zachariah and Ann Elizabeth were sponsors for the baptism of a child in 1767.  Ann Elizabeth probably died not too long after this time.  When Zachariah sold land in 1777, his wife was Sarah Ann.  Zachariah and his second wife, Sarah Ann, were probably married around 1770, for they had a daughter who married William Smith in 1788.  The parentage of Sarah Ann is not proven.

There is a record that Zacharias raised a crop of corn in 1776, in Kentucky Co., KY (later Lincoln Co., KY, and finally Mercer Co., KY), and took out land rights in 1779-80.  Zacharias served in the Revolutionary War, in a detachment of Lincoln Co. militia, under the command of Ensign John Smith, who may have been his brother.  These records are identical to those of Jacob Holtzclaw, the son of the 1714 colonist, who married Susanna, daughter of John Thomas, Jr.  Susanna was Zacharias' first cousin, as John Thomas, Jr., and Anna Magdalena Thomas Smith were brother and sister.

A series of deeds in Kentucky furnishes some clues as to the children of Zacharias.  By his first wife, Ann Elizabeth Fishback:

  1. William Smith (he left seven children),
  2. Elizabeth Smith, m. Capt. Henry Grider of Swiss Mennonite descent,
  3. Mary Smith, m. William Powell,
  4. Jesse Smith, m. Joanna Pendleton.
By his second wife, Sarah Ann, these children resulted:
  1. Zachariah Smith, Jr., m. Elizabeth,
  2. Peter Smith, m. Elizabeth,
  3. Jeremiah Smith, m. Polly,
  4. James Smith, m. Margaret,
  5. Samuel Smith,
  6. Abraham Smith, m. Nancy,
  7. Sally Smith m.1) a cousin, William Smith, and m.2) Uriah Taylor.  Since Sally Smith had a daughter who was married in 1788, Sally was probably one of the older children of the second marriage.  (Zachariah Smith and Elijah Holtzclaw were on the marriage bond.)  This continues to show the close connection of the Smiths and Holtzclaws.
  8. Mildred Smith m. Joseph Fisher.
  9. Nancy Smith m. Robert Ragan.
Sarah Browder, who descends from this family, is not entirely convinced of these points.  There are numerous uncertainties.
(04 Mar 02)



Nr. 1372:

Adam Smith was another son of J. Michael Smith who went to Kentucky with his two brothers, Zachariah and John.  All went at about the same time, and were quite early in Kentucky.  Perhaps Adam was born about 1735 to 1740 in the Robinson River Valley.  He died in Mercer County, KY, in 1793.  His wife was Elizabeth, maiden name unknown.  Adam and Elizabeth deeded away their land in 1772 and 1777.  This was land that Adam's father had given him.  They probably moved just after the last sale of land, and they disappear from the church records about then.

The will of Adam Smith, probated in Mercer County in 1793, mentions his wife Elizabeth, and his children Ezekiel, Benjamin, Solomon, and Elizabeth.  The witnesses were Zachariah Smith and John Smith.  There were more daughters than Elizabeth, as Mary, Catarine, and Anna are named in the marriage records of Lincoln County, before Mercer County was formed from it.  The marriages are noted in the "Kentucky Historical Social Register" in vol. 12, p.77, for Lincoln Co. marriages.

Children of Adam Smith and his wife Elizabeth ____ :

  1. Ezekiel Smith,
  2. Benjamin Smith, who died in 1798, in Mercer Co.,
  3. Solomon Smith,
  4. Elizabeth Smith,
  5. Mary Smith, m. William Barbee, 20 Feb 1781,
  6. Catarine (Catharine) Smith, m. Michael Hampton, 19 Apr 1784,
  7. Anna Smith, m. William Custer, 16 Jun 1785.
Each of the last three girls is named as "daughter of Adam Smith."
(05 Mar 02)



Nr. 1373:

The third, and probably youngest, son of J. Michael Smith was John Smith.  Perhaps he was born about 1750.  His two brothers both had land from their father several years ahead of John getting his.  John died in Barren County, Kentucky, in 1809.  His wife was named Elizabeth, maiden name unknown.  John and his wife deeded away their land in Culpeper Co., Virginia, in 1777, at about the same time that his brothers did.  He moved to what is now Mercer Co., KY.

On 29 Oct 1796, John Smith, and his wife Elizabeth, of Mercer Co., deeded 500 acres to Uriah Taylor (who was a son-in-law of Zachariah).  The marriage bonds of Mercer Co. show the bond of 30 Apr 1787 of Ambrose Barlow and Ann Smith, with the consent of John Smith.  The witnesses were Peter Huffman and Jesse Smith.  The will of John Smith, "taylor", of Mercer Co. KY, dated 5 Jun 1806, was probated in Barren Co., KY, at the October court in 1809.  It mentions his wife Elizabeth, daughters Martha, Keziah, Mary Elizabeth, Susannah, and Fanny.  Sons who are mentioned are Aaron, John, and Michael.  Several of these children were left no legacy, as they were said to have received their full portion already.  In addition, there may have been a son Henry.  (John Smith and Henry Smith were deeded land by Zachariah Smith in 1801.)

The children of John Smith and his wife Elizabeth are:

  1. Aaron Smith,
  2. John Smith,
  3. Michael Smith,
  4. Henry Smith,
  5. Ann Smith, who married, 1787, Ambrose Barlow,
  6. Martha Smith,
  7. Keziah Smith,
  8. Mary Elizabeth Smith, whose baptism is recorded in the Hebron church book in Virginia as 24 Apr 1777 (by Rev. Franck),
  9. Susannah Smith, and
  10. Fanny Smith.
The sponsors for Mary Elizabeth Smith were Zachariah Smith, Barbara Aylor, and Mary Weaver.  The first two of these sponsors have a certain logic in their choice as all (J. Michael) Smiths, and all Aylors, after the immigrant generation, have a Blankenbaker ancestor.  I have not yet tried to identify Mary Weaver, who might furnish a clue to the identity of John Smith's wife.
(06 Mar 02)



Nr. 1374:

The immigrant John Michael Smith, who came in 1717, was accompanied by his brother Matthew.  Hans Michael (to use John Michael's baptismal name) was three years senior to Matthäus (Matthew).  The family of Matthew is treated in Germanna Record 6, on pages 34 to 37.  It was not recognized in the original writing that Matthew and John were brothers.  In fact, their apparent lack of interaction in Virginia would even suggest that they were not related.  A few errors were made in the Germanna Record account.

The John Smith, wife Elizabeth, who had a child christened in 1777, was not a descendant of Matthew, but of J. Michael Smith, Jr.  The William Smith, son of John Smith, seems to be of English origin, not German origin.  The Record also suggested Michael Smith, Jr., the son of Matthew Smith II, had married Rosina Yager in 1791, but this was an error; it was Michael Smith, Sr., the son of Matthew II’s brother, Nicholas Smith, who married Rosina Yager.

The two immigrant Smith brothers, Hans Michael and Matthäus, were born in Gemmingen, and both were married and had children before they came to America.  Matthew had two sons, one born in Germany (Matthew, Sr.), and one born in Virginia (Nicholas), perhaps about 1718.  Nicholas, the younger son, married Magdalena Reiner, who was born 21 Sep 1720 in Schwaigern (Schwaigern is about two miles from Gemmingen), and who came in 1749 to America with her family.  The baptismal records at the German Lutheran church provide the evidence for the marriage of Nicholas and Magdalena.  The will of Nicholas was probated in 1797.

The issue of Nicholas Smith and his wife Magdalena Reiner, with minor uncertainties, is:

  1. John Smith, the first name in his father’s will, was born about 1752.  When this John made his will in 1821, he left all of his property to the children of his brothers, Nicholas, Michael, and Godfrey,
  2. Nicholas Smith, born approximately 1754-1756,
  3. Michael Smith, third son in the will, born approximately 1756-1758,
  4. Barbara Smith, possibly a daughter, as she appears in the church records, but it is not proven that she is a daughter of Nicholas,
  5. Godfrey Smith, born about 1764, as he was confirmed in 1782 at age 18.

Of course, one is suspicious when only sons are mentioned.  There may have daughters other than Barbara, who is not even a confirmed daughter.

The German research on these families was done by Johni Cerny and Gary Zimmerman.
(07 Mar 02)



Nr. 1375:

In preparing the notes on the descendants of Matthew Smith, I was following material that I had published about eleven years ago.  At that time, I said that Prof. B. C. Holtzclaw had contributed much to Germanna research, and noted that none of his work had been published at the time of his death.  The Germanna Foundation gave me copies of some of this material and said that I might publish it.  Over a few years I published most of it.  When I wrote about the Matthew Smith descendants, I used his material, and noted that I was following very closely his work.  Since the last note, I have been asked about some of this data.  The corrections that I gave were his corrections to his own previously published work.  I have not attempted to verify this.

In the last note I discussed the line of Nicholas Smith, the son of Matthew Smith, the immigrant.  I gave the four sons of Nicholas, John, Nicholas, Jr., Michael, and Godfrey.  John apparently never married, as he left his property to his nephews and nieces.

I continue now with the son Nicholas, Jr., a grandson of the immigrant, Matthew.  He was probably born ca. 1754-1756, and died in Washington Co., VA, in 1804.  He married ca. 1783-1784, Susannah Yager, born 1766, as she was confirmed at Hebron in 1782 at the age of 16.  She was the daughter of Godfrey Yager and his first wife ____ Klug, who was the daughter of Rev. Klug.  As Nicholas Smith, Jr., he was in the militia in the Culpeper Classes (#93).  His will, probated in Madison Co., 22 Nov 1804, leaves his property to his wife "until the youngest child comes of age".  The will does not name the children though.

The births of the children, except the apparently eldest, who was Mary, are recorded at the church.  They are also mentioned in a suit brought by Nicholas' brother John against his brothers Godfrey and Michael, and the heirs of his brother Nicholas.  The basis for the suit was an attempt to get the estate of Nicholas Smith, Sr., settled.  The heirs of Nicholas are given as Mary, Elizabeth, Anna Gabriel, Joel, Jeremiah, Juliana, and Noah Smith.  It was also stated that Mary had married Isaac Skinner, and he too became a defendant.  Isaac Skinner also became the guardian of Juliana Smith, orphan of Nicholas (this was in 1818).

On 18 Aug 1831, Joel Smith, Jeremiah Smith, and Noah Smith, with Gabriel Crisler, who had married ____ Smith, deeded 118 acres to John Lindsay.

Joel Smith married Helen Smith in 1817.  Jeremiah married Mary Eddins in 1818.  Julianna was probably the one who married Gabriel Crisler.
(08 Mar 02)


(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 FIFTY-FIFTH set of Notes, Nr. 1351 through Nr. 1375.)


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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 1351 through 1375.

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