Search billions of records on Ancestry.com

(This Page Was Last Modified Wednesday, 06-Apr-2011 15:49:18 MDT.)


Search John's Notes, or This Entire Web Site.


This is the FIFTY-SIXTH 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 1376 through 1400.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 56

(If the text on this and other pages on this website isn't large enough, click here to see how to increase the size.)
(If you wish to print only part of this page, and not the entire page, click here for instructions.)


Nr. 1376:

In the Smith families, there was a Michael Smith, who was the son of Nicholas, the son of Matthew.  Michael was probably born about 1756-1758.  He died in Oldham County in Kentucky some time after 9 Sep 1820, when his brother John wrote his will, and before 19 May 1832, when his heirs appointed an attorney to collect their share of John Smith's estate.  Michael Smith married, 24 July 1791, Rosanna Yager.  A Rosanna Yager was confirmed at Hebron in 1789.  She was the daughter of John Yager and his wife Mary Willheit.  A Michael Smith was in the militia of Culpeper County (Class 75).  In 1806, Michael Smith and his wife Rosanna deeded 134 acres in Madison Co. to John Clore, and they deeded other land, the same year, to John Smith.  Probably, they moved to Kentucky soon after this.

On 19 May 1832, John Smith, Henry Smith, Reuben Smith, Edward Smith, Thomas Smith, John Carder, William Smith, Daniel Smith, and Rosanna Smith, guardian of Joseph and Jane Smith, all of Oldham Co., who were the heirs of Michael Smith, decd., the brother of John Smith, decd., appointed Weedon Smith of Oldham Co., KY, their attorney to receive of Joseph Carpenter their inheritance from John Smith.  Of these children, only seven are shown in the Hebron Church records.  From these latter records, two more children are known, Nathan and Daniel.  The girl who married John Carder is not specified.  The relationship, if any, of Weedon Smith, is unknown.

Another grandson of Matthew Smith, the immigrant, is Godfrey, born after 1764 to Nicholas.  Godfrey died in Warren Co., Kentucky, by 1828.  While he was married, his wife's name is uncertain.  A statement in the Warren County records states that Godfrey was living on 9 Sep 1820, and that he had seven children, Nancy, Matilda, Polly, Elijah, Sally, Isaac, and Eliza.  Sally and Elijah died before September 1822, while under age.  In 1828, Godfrey had four children alive, Nancy, Matilda (over 21), Isaac, and Eliza (the last two were underage, with Godfrey as their guardian).

Dr. Holtzclaw had nothing to add in this set of notes about the descendants of Matthew Smith, Jr., the son of the 1717 immigrant Matthew Smith, Sr.  There is some information in Germanna Record 6 about this family.

I will stop here with the discussion of the Smith family.  (Deep sighs of relief were heard all around.)
(09 Mar 02)



Nr. 1377:

The Spring Conference of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Palatines to America is scheduled for 20 April 2002, at Yoder's Restaurant, in New Holland, PA.  One of the four presentations is of special interest.  But first, let's mention the other three which have more conventional points of interest.

Bruce Bomberger, curator of the Landis Valley Museum, in Lancaster County, PA, will speak on "Pennsylvania-Germans and the Culture of Their Tools and Machines".

Jonathan Stayer, Head of the Reference Section, and Archivist, at the Pennsylvania State Archives, will present "Military Records at the Pennsylvania State Archives and Some Related Resources".

Dr. Kenneth McCrae's talk will be "Using Pennsylvania State Land Records to Find Your Ancestor's Land".

The fourth presentation (the one of special interest) will be by Katie Hadley, a representative from Brigham Young University in Utah.  She represents the Molecular Genealogy Research Project (MGRP) at Brigham Young.  This project is headed by Scott Woodward, a microbiology professor at BYU.

What is Molecular Genealogy?  It links individuals together in "family trees", based on the unique identification of genetic markers.  This is accomplished by using the information encoded in the DNA of an individual to determine his/her relatedness to other indiviiduals,tribes, families, and populations.  Pedigrees based on genetic markers can reveal relationships not detectable in genealogies based only on names, written records, or oral traditions.  And it can probably deny some relationships that are claimed.

The fact that DNA is inherited, and that each individual is the product of his/her progenitors, means that DNA can be used to create unique identifications, and show, at the same time, membership in a family, clan, or tribal group.  MGRP is attempting to obtain 100,000 blood samples from around the world to build a database of genetic markers.  According to AP writer Hannah Wolfson, samples have already been collected from New York, Hawaii, Alaska, New Zealand, and Australia.  And the team members are just about to collect some samples from Pennsylvania.  Collecting all of this data costs money, and Utah billionaire James Sorenson, and Arizona philanthropist Ira Fulton, have donated $2.5 million toward the project.  Initially, the database consisted of Mormons from Utah, but the need for geographical diversity has changed the emphasis on where to collect samples.

If you want to be a part of this project (including giving a blood sample), bring a completed four-generation chart of ancestors beginning with yourself.  You must know where each individual in this chart was born.  You can do a web search for molecular-genealogy and learn more.

The fee per person for this meeting, which includes a dinner, is $27.00 for nonmembers, and $22.00 for members (advance registration required).

The registrar for the Conference is:
Shirley T. Nystrom
35 Stonehedge Drive
Carlisle, PA 17013-9120.

For more information call:
Ken McCrea at 717-336-5520, or
Lois Byrem at 717-687-8234.
(11 Mar 02)



Nr. 1378:

In volume 11, page 608, of Beyond Germanna, there was an article about George Samuel Klug.  The authors were Mary C. Padget and I, John Blankenbaker.  The part that I want to extract here is the list of the children.

George Samuel Klug married Susanna Castler, probably shortly after he arrived in the Robinson River Valley.  There appears to have been nine children:

  1. Michael, who married Elizabeth Fisher.  The family of this Elizabeth Fisher is unclear.  It does NOT appear that she was from the family of Lewis and Anna Barbara (Blankenbaker) Fisher.  Michael Klug was in the militia of 1781 from Culpeper Co., in Class 70.  He is also in the 1787 Culpeper personal property tax list, with an apparent address north of Criglersville.
  2. Samuel, born about 1744.
  3. Ephraim, b. about 1756, married Elizabeth Major.  He was in the militia of 1781 in Culpeper County Class 92, and in the 1787 tax list for Culpeper County, living in the south of today's Madison Co.
  4. Elizabeth, married Michael Broyles.
  5. Eva married Matthias Broyles, youngest brother of Michael Broyles.
  6. Magdalene, married William Lotspeich.
  7. A daughter married Godfrey Yager as his first wife.
  8. Child eight.
  9. Child nine.

Rev. Klug left no will when he died in 1764.  Susanna was appointed administrix of the estate, where the personal property was appraised at 361 pounds.  Susanna eventually married again, and lived until 1801.  An account of the estate in 1775 shows that payments had been made to the four sons-in-law above.  The account also mentions there were nine children in all.  The feeling is that children number 8 and 9 above were girls.  With one or two exceptions, these children do not appear in the German Lutheran Church records of the Robinson River Valley.
(12 Mar 02)



Nr. 1379:

In the last note, I gave the family of Rev. George Samuel Klug about as well as anyone knows it.  Rev. Klug was the pastor, for about twenty-five years, at the German Lutheran Church in the Robinson River Valley of Virginia.  During that time, he married and sired nine children.  None of the children appear in the baptismal register.  In fact, none of the members of the family hardly appear in the church registers.  The oddity of this strikes some people as unusual.  Let's look at the reasons for some of the omissions.

Though the baptismal register appears to start in the year 1750, the book in which the baptisms were recorded was not used until 1775.  In that year (1775), about 25 years of prior records were entered into the book.  Actually, there were omissions.  Some families were not entered for one of two reasons.  To understand these reasons, we need to look at why the entries were made at all.

A new pastor was coming, and the elders decided it would be good to have the (baptismal) information organized by families, to acquaint the new man with the congregation.  Essentially, one page was devoted to one family, and a list of the children, with their birth dates, was entered.  The sponsors or godparents were also given.  This data had to be taken from some other records, as the accuracy of it precludes that the parents were asked when their children were baptized.

Any family that had moved out of the community was not entered, since the information appeared to have no value.  In entering the families, no family was given who had children born before 1750.  The exact reason for this rule is not clearly understood.  It may have been that they had no data before 1750, or it may have been that they arbitrarily decided this would be the cutoff point.

Whatever the rule was, the Klug family was not included because they had some children born before 1750.

In another book, starting in 1775, communion lists were kept.  These were records of the people who were partaking of communion.  It would appear that some members of the Klug family would have been taking communion during the time of the lists, but none of them appear (as Klug).  This does seem to me to be strange, and I have no explanation.

An Eleanor Klug was a baptismal sponsor in 1782.  I do not know if this is a daughter, or a daughter-in-law.  The only other mention of a Klug is for Ephraim Klug, who was sworn by a mother to be the father of her natural child, Sara.  The mother is identified only as "Rossel".  The sponsors at this baptism were Johannes Frey and Maria Rossel.
(13 Mar 02)



Nr. 1380:

After a little breather, I return to another Smith family, this one of English descent.  It starts with Isaac Smith, who was born about 1720 in Virginia.  He was the son of William Smith and Elizabeth Downing.  Isaac Smith married Margaret Rucker about 1738.  Margaret was the daughter of Captain John Rucker and Susannah Coghill.

This material came to me from Darryl J. Diemer in an article that was published in Beyond Germanna ten years ago.  Later, he wrote the book, "The Descendants of Richard Smith of Northumberland County, Virginia", which was published in 1995.

Isaac and Margaret had ten known children, which were proven primarily through land transactions, and the will of Isaac’s brother, Benjamin Smith (Madison Co., VA W.B.1, pp.342-3).  Isaac died in 1802, leaving a will, but the will mentions only one child, and leaves the majority of his estate to grandchildren (Madison W.B.1, pp.344-345).

The children of Isaac Smith, Sr., and Margaret Rucker are:

  1. Winifred Smith, born about 1739, married Peter Fleshman, Jr., and had three children ­ Elisabeth, John (m. Nancy Dunn), and Benjamin (m. Delilah Shirley).
  2. Elisabeth Smith, married William Rucker, her first cousin, and had seven children who are given in the Rucker histories.
  3. Henrietta Smith, married Daniel Hollenback.  She separated from her husband and received a court-ordered maintenance from him.  There was no known issue.
  4. Susannah Smith, married Thomas Standley in 1781, and had one known child ­ Henrietta Standley, who married, in turn Jeremiah Rucker, and William Thornton.
  5. Isaac Smith (II), alias Sims, married a daughter of William Sims, of Culpeper Co., and had one known child, but there are said to be others also.  The child, Isaac Smith (III), married Susannah Smith, daughter of Downing Rucker Smith.  Among the offspring of Isaac Smith (III) and Susannah Smith were Isaac R. Smith (married Matilda Clore), Susannah Smith (married Abel Carpenter), and Barbara.
  6. Melinda Smith, never married, and died in Madison Co. in 1803.
  7. Mary Smith, married Elijah Underwood, and had ten children, including Henrietta Underwood, who married James Aylor.  (See "The Underwood Family of Madison County, Virginia", by Ben H. Coke.)
  8. William Smith, married Frances Cave, and died in 1802.  He apparently left no heirs, as he left everything to Downing Rucker Smith’s five children.
  9. Edwin Smith (no information), and
  10. Downing Rucker Smith.
(to be continued)
(14 Mar 02)



Nr. 1381:

I listed Downing Rucker Smith as the tenth child of Isaac Smith, Sr., and his wife Margaret Rucker, but I did not give any of the children for him.  He married Catherine Boehme (Beam, Beemon) and they had five children including:

  1. William Downing Smith, married Diana Yager (daughter of Blind John Yager), and they had thirteen children (one more died in infancy), of whom six were:
    1. Fielding Smith, who married Rhoda Carpenter,
    2. Nancy Smith, who married Benjamin Garr,
    3. Ellen Smith, who married Joel Smith,
    4. Mary Smith, who married Jonas Finks Blankenbaker,
    5. Barbara Jency Smith, who married John S. Yowell, and
    6. Robinson G. Smith, who married Elizabeth Shirley Clore.
  1. Benjamin Smith, married Anna Yowell.
  2. Susannah Smith, married Isaac Smith, Jr., son of Isaac Smith alias Sims.
  3. Downing William Smith, married Elizabeth Bush.
  4. Asa Smith, married Barbara Yager, and had four children, including Weeden Smith, who married Alpha Yager.

Darryl Diemer, the author of the above, and I had some discussion of whether it was proven that Catherine Boehme was the wife of Downing Rucker Smith.  I had another suggestion for the husband of Catherine Boehme, who happened also to be a Smith of another family.  We could never conclude anything positively, but Darryl felt that he was correct.  In telling this, I am not saying that Darryl was wrong.  I would say that I have some doubts.
(15 Mar 02)



Nr. 1382:

The question was raised recently about the parentage of James Wesley Gaar, who was born 17 Aug 1810, in the Germanna Gaar family.  The "Garr Genealogy" does not list this James Wesley Gaar.  There are other mysteries in this family also.  I recap the known evidence, as given by Shirley Venrick in vol. 12, the number 2 issue, of Beyond Germanna.

James Wesley Gaar was born 17 Aug 1810.  He married Lourena Wilhoit on 23 Sep 1835.  She was born 8 Dec 1817.  All of these dates are taken from a family Bible.  The Bible also states that Lourena's mother was Mary Wilhoit, who was born in 1776.  It gives no father for Lourena.  This is mystery number two in this family.

Mary (Blankenbaker) Wilhoit was the daughter of Michael Blankenbaker and Elizabeth Barbara Garr.  She was probably born about 1754, even though the Garr Genealogy lists her birth year as 1747.  However, the authors of the Garr Genealogy were in error on several birth years in this family, as can be shown by reference to the Hebron lists of people being confirmed.  Mary married Daniel Wilhoit, a son of John Wilhoit and Walburga (Burga) Weaver.

A daughter of Daniel and Mary was another Mary, born 25 September 1776 and baptized 27 Oct 1776.  The Garr Genealogy lists this Mary as unmarried.  Apparently she never was, but she was the mother of Lourena, as stated in the family Bible.  With an unknown father, and with the parentage of James Wesley Garr unknown, the descendants of James Wesley Garr and Lourena Wilhoit know only one quarter of their possible Germanna ancestors.

The family of James Wesley Garr and Lourena is found in the 1850 census of Madison County, Virginia.  The youngest child then is Henry, age 3.  The parents moved to Indiana, and are in the 1870 census in Delaware County.  Nine of the twelve children are in the home, ranging in age from 34 down to 6.  The names of the children, from the Bible record, are:

  1. Malina Jane,
  2. James Leonard,
  3. Jonas Franklin,
  4. Mary Frances,
  5. William Daniel,
  6. Henry Winfield,
  7. Margaret Ann,
  8. Felix Jefferson,
  9. Laura Virginia,
  10. Alonzo Wesley,
  11. Emily Catherine, and
  12. Lucetta Ellen.

The facts given are supported by the marriage license for James Wesley Garr and Lourena Wilhoit, which is dated 22 Sep 1835.  The death certificate for Lourena Garr (she died 16 Aug 1905) in Indiana confirms the information for her.

Perhaps, there might be some hope of find James Wesley Garr's parents.  The hope would be very slim for finding the father of Lourena Wilhoit.
(16 Mar 02)



Nr. 1383:

I wish to take note of the recognition awarded to Klaus Wust by the German government in the form of the Federal Cross of Merit.

On March 4, 2002, Dr. Hans Ulrich Seidt, the head of the Cultural Department of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., went to Belle Grove Plantation in the Shenandoah Valley and presented Klaus with the ornate medal on behalf of the German government.  Approximately fifty people were in attendance at Bell Grove, which was built by Major Isaac Hite, grandson of Jost Hite, who was an early emigrant and early settler in the Valley.  Klaus has worked on the Hite history, and on the programs for research and education at Belle Grove.

The Federal Cross of Merit is the highest award of the Federal Republic of Germany.  Dr. Seidt, in presenting the medal, said that it was important that present generations and future generations learn about the common history which brings together Germans and Americans.  Following his remarks, Trautlieb Huelz, Attache for Cultural Affairs at the Germany Embassy, directed her comments to Klaus saying,

"It is almost impossible to enumerate all your achievements . . It took countless tasks to convey your message."

Seidt read the citation in German and Wust replied initially in German in honor of Jost Hite.  He then added, with a touch of humor for the benefit of the crowd,

"Now, I did not say anything that you should not know."

Wust added that when he began his work the German elements of American culture were not widely recognized.  German influences were particularly important because so many Americans are of German descent, and we do not get much credit for it.

"Many Americans believe that everything in their culture came from Great Britain."

In conclusion, Wust stressed the importance of keeping strong ties between Germany and Americans.

"You cannot separate us anymore."

The information pertaining to this award comes from "The Winchester Star", a newspaper in the Shenandoah Valley.  It was brought to my attention by Col. James W. Barnett.

Klaus will be the speaker at the Germanna Reunion Sunday meeting this year.  It has been a number of years since he participated in a Germanna Reunion.  This will be another chance to hear the gentleman.  Perhaps he will be wearing his medal.  He deserves it.

(P.S.  Klaus came to America not long after WWII, as a short-term student at Bridgewater College.  He was amazed to find himself in a community with so many German influences.  He started researching these links between Germany and America, and has spent the rest of his life here in this activity.  What he has learned has been made available to us.
(18 Mar 02)



Nr. 1384:

Timothy Swindle, who lived in the Robinson River Valley, was probably not a German.  However, he married a German, Rebecca Crees (Crease, Crest, Criece, Greys), who was clearly a German.  Her origins have been discovered in Germany by Cerni and Zimmerman.  Rebecca's father was Lorentz or Lawrence.

The marriage of Timothy Swindell and Rebecca Crees is established by the deed of gift for 200 acres of land by Lawrence Crees to Rebecca Swindell and her husband, Timothy Swindell.  This was in 1762.  The Germanna Records have very little to say about the Swindell family, but see Germanna Record Six, page 70.  There is more good information in the German Lutheran Church records.  Whereas B. C. Holtzclaw could discern three sons, Michael, John, and George, the church records present clear evidence of five children, adding Sarah and Rebecca to the three sons just mentioned.  This may not be an exhaustive count.

  1. Sarah, married Frederick Baumgardner,
  2. Michael, married Elizabeth Utz,
  3. John, married Hannah Weaver,
  4. George (info on him is not so clear), and
  5. Rebecca, married John Fray.
-------------------------------------------------------

Recently there was a discussion as to whom John Fray married.  Some researchers have said that he married Rebecca Yowell.

Let us review where this thought originated.  Virginia Fray Lewis, in her book, "A History & Genealogy of John Fray of Culpeper Co., Virginia", stated that it was a tradition within the Fray family that John Fray's wife was Rebecca Yowell, the daughter of Nicholas Yowell.  No evidence beyond this assertion was given by her.  There is at least one printed Yowell genealogy, and it does not even note there was a Rebecca Yowell.

Several times, Mrs. Lewis has been proven to be wrong.  She was not the most reliable researcher.  For example, she confused the Zimmerman and Carpenter families, and makes other mistakes.  (The first party of Zimmerman emigrants kept the Zimmerman name; the second party of Zimmerman emigrants, to avoid confusion between the two unrelated families, adopted the name "Carpenter", which is what Zimmerman translates to in English.  Many researchers, such as Mrs. Lewis, have mixed up these two distinct families, putting members of one family group in the other family group, and vice versa, and generally making a genealogical mess, which later researchers have had to straighten out.)

B.C. Holtzclaw doubted the statement by Mrs. Lewis, "...it was a tradition within the Fray family that John Fray's wife was Rebecca Yowell...".

In opposition to Mrs. Lewis' assertion, which lacks any support, there is excellent evidence, from the German Lutheran Church (Hebron) records, which says that Rebecca was a Swindle.  We will take a look at this evidence in the next note.

(Mrs. Fray is buried in the Hebron cemetery, even though she was apparently not a resident of Virginia.  She had been living in San Diego prior to her death.  She may have been a member of the church at one time though, since membership in the church is a prerequisite to purchasing a lot as the original buyer.)
(20 Mar 02)



Nr. 1385:

The reasons that I thought Timothy Swindell might not be German include the following.  There were other Swindels in Culpeper County living in areas where the Germans normally did not live.  Timothy did not appear at the German Lutheran Church where the working language was German.  And I did not think that "Timothy" sounded very German.

When Michael Swindle and his wife Elizabeth (Utz) had their daughter Hannah baptized, the sponsors were George Utz, Jr. (her brother), Rebecca Frey (his sister), and Margaret Broyles (her sister).  In these comments, "his" and "her" refer to the parents.  Now it is true that Rebecca Frey has not been proven to be Michael's sister yet, but this forms a part of a pattern.  Notice that the other two sponsors were her brother and her sister.  Michael was due to have someone from his family if it were possible.

When Peter Clore and his wife Mary (Fray) had their daughter Mary baptized (in 1782), the sponsors where John Weaver, Jr. (his cousin), Rebecca Frey (her sister-in-law who married John Fray), and Hannah Swindle (his aunt).  Again, it is not proven that Rebecca married John Fray but this sponsorship only adds to the pattern which supports the idea.

When John Fray and his wife Rebecca (Swindle) had their son Aaron baptized in 1776, the sponsors were Peter Clore (his brother-in-law), Michael Swindle (her brother), and Hannah Swindle (her sister-in-law who had married Michael).  The choice of two sponsors from the Swindle family is the clincher here to show that Rebecca was indeed a Swindle.

In choosing sponsors, in-laws were as good as the brothers and sisters.  In many cases they appear about as often as brothers and sisters.  Another category, the cousins and the spouses of cousins, were very common, and, in some families, rivaled the brothers and sisters in popularity.  By the time that you go through the brothers and sisters, the in-laws, and the cousins, then this often covers about 90% of the sponsors.  Nearly always the sponsors are of the same generation as the parents, but there are exceptions.  It is hard to pick a sponsor who is entirely unrelated to the parents.  There are several cases where we do not know the relationship, but I would assume the sponsors are related by blood or marriage, and of the same generation, before I would assume anything else.

There are about seventeen baptisms in which either a parent, or at least one sponsor, is a Swindle.  These have proven to be useful in determining the family structure.  As I commented in the last note, B. C. Holtzclaw had determined there were at least three sons.  These are confirmed by the baptisms, which also show there were at least two daughters.
(21 Mar 02)



Nr. 1386:

Christian Clements (Cleman, Klemann, etc.) receives very little attention in the Germanna Records.  He had a sizeable tract of land (600 acres) about six miles northeast of the German Lutheran Church which he acquired in 1734.  Two neighbors were, to the north, John Paul Vaught, and, to the south, John Hoffman.  The Vaughts were more than neighbors, for Christian Cleman married a daughter of John Paul Vaught.  When the Vaught family moved to the Shenandoah Valley in the 1740's, it appears that the Clemans went with the Vaught family.

More exactly, Christian Clements married Catherine Margaret Vaught.  They moved, about 1744, to the Shenandoah Valley.  His (Christian's) will was dated 1780, and was proved 18 Mar 1783, in Augusta County.  He mentioned his wife, Catherine; eldest son, Gaspar (Caspar); son, John; daughter, Catherine, who was married to George Trout; grandson, David Trout; and mentions, but does not name, his daughters who were married to Henry Liner and Philip Burger (Barger, Barrier).  Catherine (Vaught) Clement's will was dated 12 Jun 1783, and proved in 1793.  The five children of Christian and Catherine (Vaught) Clements are:

  1. Gaspar, born about 1746,
  2. Mary Catherine, who married George Trout,
  3. John, who married Elizabeth,
  4. Margaret, who married Philip Barrier (Barger), and
  5. Elizabeth, who married Henry Lyner (Liner).

Neatly all of the records to be found for this family are in the Shenandoah Valley counties.

[With these short comments, I have to stop.]
(22 Mar 02)
(To see updated, corrected information on this family, please see
1696.)



Nr. 1387:

Continuing with a few comments on Christian Clements that were started in the last note, the close connection to the Vaught (Vogt) family was noted.  When John Paul Vaught proved his importation in 1735, he stated that he brought his wife, Mary Catherine, and his children, John Andrew, John Caspar, Catherine Margaret, and Mary Catherine.  Of the two daughters, Nancy M. Dodge suggests that Mary Catherine Vaught married Christopher Moyer, Sr.  Christian Clements named his wife as simply Catherine, and this is probably the one that John Paul Vaught referred to as Catherine Margaret in the importation, and in his will as the daughter who had married Christian Clements.

When John Paul Vaught and his son-in-law, Christian Clements, moved to the Shenandoah Valley, their places were in Orange Co.  When John Paul Vaught died in 1761, the county was Augusta, and today is Rockingham.

Apparently Christian Clements and his wife Catherine Vaught had five children:

  1. Gaspar or Caspar Clements, born about 1746, left a will dated 25 May 1813 in Rockingham County, which was proven 27 Feb 1815.  Gaspar named his wife Mary, and his children Christian, John, Nancy (wife of George Crawford), Catren, Polly, and James.
  2. Mary Catherine Clements (another Catherine!) married George Trout.  They had at least a son David, who married Susannah Whetsel in 1787.
  3. John Clemons was married to Elizabeth.  John may have been in Washington Co., VA, in 1800.
  4. Margaret Clements married Philip Barrier.  They had sons Casper, Jacob, and John.  George Trout and Mary Catherine Clements (Margaret's sister) deeded land to Margaret Barrier in 1761.  This land was delivered to Gaspar Barrier in 1769, which perhaps was the result of Philip dying by 1761, and Margaret by 1769.
  5. Elizabeth Clements married Henry Lyner (Liner).  A list of Rockingham Co. tithables in 1783 has Henry Liner and his sons, Christopher and Adam.

Most of this information came from Helen Spurlin (now deceased) and her sister Mickey Martin.  It was published in 1990 in Beyond Germanna.
(23 Mar 02)
(To see updated, corrected information on this family, please see
1696.)



Nr. 1388:

My wife and I just came from a cultural performance at the German Society of Pennsylvania.  The Society was founded in 1764, with the purpose of providing aid to the thousands of German immigrants that were coming into Pennsylvania through the port of Philadelphia.

There was a need for such an organization, because the immigrants were not well acquainted with the customs, procedures, and the language.  Because so many of the immigrants were coming under contracts of indenture (to be executed), there were opportunities to take advantage of the Germans, and to get them to agree to things which they did not understand.  The best source of information was fellow Germans who knew the rules of the game.  These more experienced Germans could meet the ships and talk to the passengers in a language which they understood.  They could tell them what to expect and what was fair.  The abuses had been bad, and the German Society of Pennsylvania was organized to help them.

Twenty years later (1784), the German Society of New York was founded.  In New York, the aim was to assist local German churches provide assistance to the thousands of Germans who were beginning to use New York as the port of immigration.  The purposes of the Society were "...the Encouragement of Emigration from Germany, assistance of needy immigrants, and the spreading of useful knowledge among their countrymen in this State".

When incorporation papers were filed, the Council of Revisions vetoed the incorporation, arguing that it would be too difficult to make good Americans out of so many Germans "...totally unacquainted with the principles of civil liberty".  The Society had to wait another twenty years before it could be incorporated.

The Society grew as New York became a major port.  The staff went from unsalaried to salaried.  John Jacob Astor, president from 1837 to 1841, gave $20,000 to the Society.  The second half of the century was a real test of the functions, since so many Germans came in this period.  At first they came through Castle Garden on the lower tip of Manhattan Island, but later, after 1891, through Ellis Island.  When the gates closed to immigration in 1914, there were 300,000 inhabitants of German descent in New York City.  At the time this was as many as lived in Cologne.  More than one million immigrants had been helped before the Society printed its final immigration guide in 1958.

As the number of German immigrants to Philadelphia declined, the German Society of Pennsylvania changed to a cultural organization, offering programs open for everyone, including a large library facility.  The Society still owns a building in downtown Philadelphia, but the expense of maintaining the building shows.

Material for this note came from Robert and Barbara Selig, who were writing in the April/May issue of German Life magazine.
(25 Mar 02



Nr. 1389:

Thomas Wayland seems to be identified with a Thomas Wieland who was living in Waldbach, in Württemberg, Germany, when he decided to immigrate with his wife and two young children; however, the two children we know in Virginia are not the same as the ones who were born in Germany.  Thus, it becomes necessary to say that two known children in Germany died, and two others were born in Virginia.  Without the identification of the children, it is less than certain that the origins of Thomas Wieland or Wayland have identified.  The name Wieland is found frequently in Germany, so it could be possible that the wrong family has been identified.

Not all of the Blankenbakers left Neuenbürg, or that vicinity, with the others in 1717.  In research in the church records, Jean Strand said she had found a Blankenbaker-Wieland marriage in Germany in the vicinity of Neuenbürg.  Considering that one of the two children in Virginia of Thomas Wieland married a Blankenbaker, I have mild doubts that the Wieland family originated at Waldbach.  There is a slight suggestion that the Blankenbakers and Wielands may have been associated in Germany.  In spite of all of these weaknesses in the Germany origins of the Wielands, let’s try to follow them for a while in Virginia.

It appears that Thomas Wieland did not come with the Second Colony, based on his omission from the lawsuits by Spotswood, and on his later land patent in 1728, instead of the typical land patent date of 1726 that was typical of so many proven Second Colony people.  Another interesting thing about his land patent is that the greater part of it overlapped the previous patent of John Broyles.  It took a lawsuit to declare that the claim of Broyles was prior to Wayland’s claim.

Thomas' son, Adam Wayland, married, first, Elizabeth Blankenbaker, the daughter of Balthasar Blankenbaker, a 1717 immigrant.  They had six children, it is believed.  Elizabeth died, and Adam married Mary Finks, and they had two children.

There was a famous lawsuit among the heirs of Adam Wayland.  When he was still married to Elizabeth Blankenbaker, he wrote a will.  Then he married again and failed to update his will to note the second wife.  The guardians of Mary’s children brought suit to claim a portion of the estate.  Thomas Jefferson even submitted an opinion in the case, and it was decided that the second family had a claim to a portion of the estate.  After Adam died, Mary married Daniel Utz, about 1784.

Adam's son, John Wayland, married Catherine Broyles, the daughter of Jacob Broyles.  They had a large family of eleven children.  We will start looking at the grandchildren in the next note.
(28 Mar 02)



Nr. 1390:

First, to correct an error I made:

When Thomas Wayland filed for head rights on 4 Nov 1729, he stated he came with a wife, Mary, and a son, Jacob, and a daughter, Catharina.  These are the names in the church book at Waldbach, so there should be no question that the right family has been identified.  Jacob must have died as a young man, and the fate of Catharina is unknown.  The sons, John and Adam, were born in Virginia.

Adam Wayland, who married Elizabeth Blankenbaker, appears in the Hebron Church communion lists until 1778, but by then Elizabeth had died, and Adam was then married to Mary (Finks).  At Christmas 1776, and at Easter 1776, his wife was also Maria.  So the first wife Elizabeth was dead by then.

In using the index to the Hebron baptismal register, one must consult both the names Wayland, which is used after 1782, and Weyland, which is generally used before that date.  Adam Weyland and his wife Elizabeth were often baptismal sponsors for Christopher Blankenbaker and his wife Christina (Finks).  (Christopher had no sisters and Elizabeth had no brothers.  They lived on adjacent farms, and sometimes they seem like siblings.)  It was probably through Christina (Finks) Blankenbaker that Adam became acquainted with his second wife.  The first appearance of Adam Weyland as a sponsor for Christopher and Christina was in 1754, and he would have been married to Elizabeth by then.  Otherwise, he would not have been selected.

None of the children of Adam by his first wife Elizabeth appear in the baptismal records, which probably means that the first child was born before 1750, so none of the family was included in the 1775 rewrite of the baptismal register.  The child Adam Weyland (with Mary Finks as its mother) was baptized 18 May 1777, with sponsors John Blankenbaker, Christina Blankenbaker, Adam Fisher, and Barbara Fisher.  The easiest one of these to identify is Christina, who was born a Finks, the sister of Mary, the mother of Adam.  Barbara Fisher was the cousin of Christopher, and the sister of Adam's first wife Elizabeth.  (Barbara was usually called Anna Barbara, but not always.)  Adam Fisher was the son of Barbara Fisher.  John Blankenbaker may have been Christopher's brother, but this is not certain, as there were other John Blankenbakers, and Christopher's brother does not appear in the church records very often, if at all.

Adam Weyland and Elizabeth Weyland were sponsors for Heinrich Miller and his wife Susanna, and the interpretation of the appearances (four times for Adam) is a bit of a mystery.  The Millers were newcomers to the community and lacked relatives to act as sponsors.  Adam, as a church officer, may have been standing in to fulfill the need for sponsors.  Then there may be a hidden relationship that we do not know.
(29 Mar 02)



Nr. 1391:

Adam Wayland, who married, first, Elizabeth Blankenbaker, is said to have had six children with her, who were:

  1. Elizabeth (* c1749), who married Morton Christopher;
  2. John (* c1751), who married Rosina Wilhoit;
  3. Mary (* c1754), who married Godfrey Yager;
  4. Joshua (* c1759), who married Rachel Utz;
  5. Lewis (* c1762), who married Elizabeth Link; and
  6. Anne (* ca 1768), who married Nicholas Yager.

Some people have suggested there were two more sons, Joseph and Joel.

Morton Christopher was the only Christopher in the Culpeper Classes of 1781.  He is also the only Christopher in the 1787 personal property tax list for Culpeper County.  At the church, Moden Christopher and Elizabeth were the parents of Elisa, born 24 Nov 1776.  The sponsors on this occasion were Adam Weyland with wife Maria, and Barbara Schmidt.  This is one of the rarer cases where there is a generation jump since Adam was the mother of Elizabeth, and Maria Weyland was Elizabeth's stepmother.  Barbara Schmidt is a puzzle, but a note says that she may have been a daughter of Nicholas Schmidt and Mary Magdalena Reiner.  Apparently, Morton Christopher had no close relative on whom he could call for a sponsor.  Elizabeth had been a sponsor in 1769 for Christopher Blankenbaker and his wife Christina Finks.  (Elizabeth's mother was a first cousin of Christopher.)  After Elizabeth served once more as a sponsor in 1778, the Christophers no longer appear in the church records; however, B. C. Holtzclaw says that A. L. Keith shows the birth of nine children for Morton and Elizabeth (from 1767 to 1795).  I do not know from where Keith obtained the information.

The Rosina or Rosanna Willheit, who married John Wayland, was the daughter of John Willheit and Walburga Weaver, both of whom came with their respective parents to Virginia.  John Weiland, Jr. (this John Weiland was called "Junior" to distinguish him from his uncle), and his wife Rosina had Nancy baptized 5 Jun 1776.  The sponsors were Adam Weyland with wife Maria, and Barbara Schmidt.  These are identical to the case above and suggest that the appearance of Barbara Schmidt was deliberate.  At the birth of Maria to John, Jr. and his wife Rosina in 1777, the sponsors were Gottfried Jager with wife Maria, and Barbara Schmidt.  Maria Jager was the sister of John Yager.  In 1779, John Wayland, Jr., and Rosina were the parents of Elizabeth, and her sponsors were John Jager, Elizabeth Christopher, and Eva Fischer.  Eva was Rosina's sister, Elizabeth was the father's sister, and John Yager is not clearly identified now, but was probably Rosina's brother-in-law.

The Barbara Schmidt remains a mystery to me.  Any ideas out there?  Was she a sister of Elizabeth and John Wayland, who married a Smith? There is no Barbara given in the records as a sister of Elizabeth and John.
(30 Mar 02)



Nr. 1392:

After several hours of study, I thought I had identified the Barbara Schmidt that I worried about in the last two notes.  My approach was to study the baptismal records and the communion lists at the German Lutheran church in Culpeper Co., Virginia.  She appears in seven communion lists, from 1775 to 1783, always without a husband.  Some of the people sitting with her were:

  • In list #2, in 1775:  Rosina Zimmerman, Delilia Breil, Barbara Schmidt, Elisabeth Schmidt, and Margaretha Schmidt.
  • In list #4:  The sequence reads Eva Boehme, Maria Schleider, Barbara Schmidt, Pheronica Hirsch, Elisabeth Schmidt, and Margaretha Schmidt.
  • In list #6:  Elisabeth Schmidt, Pheronica Hirsch, Margaretha Schmidt, Barbara Schmidt, Margaretha Main?d, and Elisabetha Reiner.
  • In list #10:  Eva Bohm, Elisabeth Bohm, Barbara Schmidt, Veronika Hirsch, and Elisabeth Koch.
  • In list #12:  Mary Smith, Molly Smith, Barbara Schmitt, Mary Tana, and Conrad Delph & wife Magthalena.
  • In list #13:  Josua Jaeger, Barbara Schmitt, Adam Yaeger, and John Gaar & wife Margaretha.
  • In list #14, in 1783:  Peter Breil & wife Elisabetha, Ludwich Nonenmacher, Barbara Schmitt, A. Margaretha Schmitt, A. Catharina Schmidt, and J. Michael Schmitt.

My first thought (apparently not correct), was that Barbara Smith was the husband of Asa Smith.  Barbara was born a Yager, the daughter of John (Blind John) Yager and Mary Wilhoite.  Asa Smith was from the English Smith family that we discussed recently.  His father was Downing Rucker Smith, and his mother was Catherine Boehme.  The story on this Smith family had come from Darryl Diemer.  I expressed some doubt that that Downing Rucker Smith had married Catherine Boehme, but the communion lists would indicate to me that Darryl was probably correct.

It must be noted that Germanna Record number 10 has Barbara Smith, who married Asa Smith, but it gives her birth as 6 Jun 1777, which is too late for the records I have been citing above.  Otherwise this would be a beautiful solution to the problem.  Therefore, as we engineers say, it is back to the drawing boards.  All of you who have tackled genealogy problems are aware of the false trails.  You will have to regard this note as a failure.
(01 Apr 02)



Nr. 1393:

I was discussing the Wayland families before I was interrupted by Barbara Smith.  I had never realized before how much of a challenge she was until I showed my ignorance before the public.  Skipping over her for now, we continue with the Adam Wayland family members by his first wife, Elizabeth Blankenbaker.  Their daughter, Maria, married Godfrey Yager, and we noted they acted as sponsors for a child of John and Rosina (Willheit) Wayland.  Gottfried and Maria Jager were the parents of Maria in 1777, for which the sponsors were Johannes Jager and his wife Maria (the father's brother and sister-in-law), John Wayland, Jr. (the mother's brother), and Barbara Carpenter.  The presence of Barbara Carpenter is a mystery.

Gottfried and Mary Jager had no other children baptized until 1789, a gap of thirteen years.  The choice of sponsors on the latter occasion is a real mystery.  First, one of the sponsors was Johannes Jager, who was probably the father's brother.  The other three sponsors were William Carpenter, Sr., Barbara Carpenter, and Elisabeth Carpenter.  Again, I do not know why the Carpenters were invited to serve as sponsors.

The son, Joshua, of Adam Wayland has only a few appearances, but even these lead to a mystery.  Joshua was confirmed on Easter Sunday in 1776, but he also appears in a list of people who were being confirmed in 1777.  This is most likely a recording error, as several people appear to have been confirmed in 1777, but they have a record of taking communion earlier, so confirmed earlier.  In 1783, Joshua appears in the communion list, with a wife Rahel (Rachel).  She was an Utz.  They appear, on and off, up to 1803, which is their last time.  Joshua had been in the Culpeper Classes of 1781.  He was also in the personal property tax list of 1787.

The son, Lewis, of Adam Wayland was confirmed in 1789.  His last appearance, as a single man, apparently, is in 1794, in the communion lists.  Lewis does not appear in the Culpeper Classes, or in the 1787 tax list for Culpeper County.

The son, Adam, of Adam Wayland, by his second wife Mary Finks, appears in the church baptismal record as a parent, with Judith, of John Burk Wayland.  This is in 1804, when the father would have been about 27 years of age.

The daughter, Hannah, of Adam Wayland, by his wife Mary, appears six times.  Four of the times, her husband, David Jones, seems to be present.  Twice, later, she appears alone.

The suggestion that there was two other sons of Adam Wayland (the immigrant), who were Joseph and Joel, appears not to have any merit.  There is no hint of them in the records.
(03 Apr 02)



Nr. 1394:

I had been very busy with my practice and I had not heard from my friend Nancy Holmes Dodge for a while.  When the boy brought a telegram from her, I opened it immediately to see what investigation she was pursuing.  Many a pleasant adventure with her had started with a telegram inviting me to join her in the pursuit of the nefarious individuals who confuse history for us.  Nancy said she was on the trail of Barbara Smith, who had eluded the lawful element for years.  I immediately called Carruthers to see if he could help with my patient load for the rest of the day, and then I rushed over to Baker Street.  Nancy was in high spirits and full of glee, where she was investigating the possibility that Barbara Smith was a daughter of Adam Koch (Cook) and Barbara Fleshman, who then married a son of Matthew Smith, Jr., and his wife Mary.

I agreed, "We seem to have a Barbara in that family about whom we have little information.  Who would her husband be?  There were three sons of Matthias Smith:  Michael; Matthias, Jr.; and Samuel.  Also we have an unidentified Peter Smith.  Which one are you thinking about?"

"I will have to find some more confirmations but I think it was Matthias III.  I am going through the church records and the civil records and looking for evidence."

"Surely, though, the trail is cold by now.  What kind of evidence are you looking for?"

"Associations.  Who the people were that she associated with.  These are most often relatives by birth or marriage."

"But Nancy, how can you be so sure?  People are always associating with someone.  She can't be a relative of all of these people."

"My dear John, I have explained to you before about my methods.  People usually chose to be with someone with whom they have been associated for most of their life.  Then, if some of these people marry others, the courtesy is extended to them also."

"But Nancy, some of these people, like the Carpenters, Willheits, and the Blankenbakers, have so many relatives that anyone they associate with is a relative."

"Pshaw.  You just have to classify the degree of the relationship.  You are more apt to cozy up to a first cousin than a second cousin."

"You haven't convinced me yet that Barbara was a Cook, who married a Smith.  Maybe she is one those women who choose never to marry."

"It is always a possibility.  We have to look at all of the evidence we can, and make a judgement."

"Tell me how it goes.  I must rescue Carruthers who is doing double work."
(04 Apr 02)


(A long hiatus here, due to John's broken ankle, and his and Eleanor's sojourn to Europe again.)

Nr. 1395:

On the evening of May 6, Eleanor and I flew from Philadelphia with a destination of Frankfort.  We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare but the safety inspection was generally routine.  I did feel that I was singled out for special attention though for two reasons.  One was that I requested a hand inspection of our film, all eighty rolls of it.  The inspectors will tell you that the X-ray machines will not harm any film whose speed is less than a thousand (HA!).  I make it a point now to carry at least one roll of film with a speed of 3200 ASA.  I can then say that I have film faster than 1000.  On the other point, I was suspicious as I was wearing an "Air-Cast" around my injured ankle.

While waiting for departure at the gate, we were called up by the gate personnel who said they were going to change our seats.  Apparently, they had too many people for the economy class while they had some extra seats in business class.  I do not know the rules for the selection of people in such situations but I believe it was because I was wearing a tie and coat.  The airlines do like to "dress the house" and improve the appearance in the business and first classes.  I do not normally fly by business class, but I can now say that it is a different world from economy.  Whereas there are eight seats across the airplane in economy, they are only six in business.  And the seats are spread out more fore and aft.  The result is that one can lean the seat back much farther and one can use the leg rest which will raise one's legs to almost a horizontal position.  The food and the personal attention are significantly better.  So I plan never to fly again unless I am wearing a tie and dress coat.

One loses six hours in flying east from Philadelphia to Frankfort.  In our case this was between the evening and the morning hours.  We have a plan to cope with this problem.  For a few days before departure, we get up an hour earlier and go to bed an hour later each day.  Thus, by our day of departure, we were up at 1:00 a.m.  By the time the flight left, we were ready for some sleep and our bodies were adjusted to German time.  When we landed, we were ready to hit the ground running.

This particular time, we did not hit the ground running.  There was a misunderstanding between us and the car rental people who thought we were arriving the day before.  In hindsight, it is best not to be too specific because you may be misunderstood.  Instead of saying that you are leaving on day x and arriving on day x+1, one should only say that he is arriving on day x+1 and wants a car to commence then.  Mentioning day x only confused the other people.  There was some delay in finding another car as we had to go to another agency who had one at a slightly different location.  Still, we managed to make our 12:00 noon appointment in Pfungstadt.  Unfortunately, the city archivist we were to meet had to attend on a sick daughter.  So we could only leave some material we had for her.

Our next destinations became Frankenthal and Lambsheim.
(30 May 02)



Nr. 1396:

The decision to visit Frankenthal was motivated by the desire to see where the Lotspeich family came from.  There was, in fact, very little to see.  Frankenthal is now a good sized town and presents a dense mass of humanity.  It is located on what I call the "flood plain" of the Rhine River.  Though this is some of the best land in Germany, industry and homes have taken over.

Right next door to Frankenthal is Lambsheim from where the Christler family came.  It is never a problem to get into a city; the problem is getting out of a city.  Finding our way out of Frankenthal was not easy, especially since there was a detour in effect.  After wandering around slightly lost, we did make our way to Lambsheim.  It, too, was a disappointment.

This was still all a part of the first day of finding a rental car to replace the one that we thought we had, and of finding the city archivist in Pfungstadt out of the office, and of finding nothing much of interest in Frankenthal or in Lambsheim.  We made our way west, out of the level ground and up into the hills toward the home of the Yagers.  Our first destination was Marienthal, where Adam Yager was baptized.  This was a distinctly "mountain" village, where one wonders how the residents earn a living.  Also, the day was growing late, and we were concerned as to where we were going to eat and to sleep.  As we found so often, many villages harbor more facilities than one might suspect.  We did find a guest house, and, with some more inquiries, we found a restaurant and had an enjoyable meal, which helped to soothe the day's disappointments..

The attraction of Marienthal is that it is a destination for vacationing Germans.  In this vicinity is the highest mountain in the Palatinate and it is used for camping and hiking.

The next morning (the second day) we drove a short distance to Falkenstein, where the Yagers lived.  Falkenstein is centered on a castle, built on a rocky spur of land above the surrounding land.  The remains of the castle are still present, and indicate a rather cramped living space.  Apparently, the Falkensteins were a family of some note, even though their seat of power was remote.  The modern town of Falkenstein is a linear village, built along the road, which itself hugs the side of a hill (the highest in the Palatinate).  Since the Yagers were not originally from Falkenstein, one wonders why they moved there.  It is easier to see why they left Falkenstein for America, since the opportunities in Falkenstein were probably very limited.  Going to church in Marienthal, or in Winnweiler, from Falkenstein was not easy, as it would have involved travel up and down hills.  The biggest attraction of Falkenstein today is the view it affords.

From Falkenstein, we drove to Annweiler, a small town situated in a valley.  Our interest in Annweiler is that Johann Caspar Stoever (Stöver) was a teacher there, before going on to America.
(31 May 02)



Nr. 1397:

After leaving Annweiler, Langenbrücken became our destination.  This was where Matthias Blanckenbühler moved when he emigrated from Austria.  Later, he moved to Neuenbürg, which is not far away, less than ten miles.  There is a big difference between the two places, though.  Langenbrücken is now a part of a larger community, and has no visible boundaries.  This is in distinction to Neuenbürg, which seems to be an isolated village.  Geographically, there is a difference, as Langenbrücken is on the Rhine "flood plain", while Neuenbürg is nestled in rolling hills.

(Maps are out of date in that they fail to show the extent of building in recent years.  On my detailed map, Langenbrücken shows as an isolated village, but when one visits it, the impression is completely different.)

There is a trend underway in Germany to consolidate the villages into a nearby larger town, or into a collection of villages.  Individual identities are being lost, and some Germans are unhappy about this.  For instance, Trupbach is advertised as a part of Siegen, not as a town in its own right.

Langenbrücken offered no insights for us.  We went on to Neuenbürg, even though we had been there two years ago.  That trip left us with no good photos, so we tried a different strategy this time.  We concentrated on taking pictures from the hills surrounding the village, hoping to convey an overall sense of the it.  Whether we were successful is not yet known.  Another point I wished to settle was to determine why there were Jewish grave stones in the cemetery.  We were told that during World War II all citizens had to leave the village, which was then used to house a mixture of Jewish and Christian people.  Several of these died there and were buried in the cemetery.  (There is obviously more of a story here than I am reporting.)

To find a resting place for the night, our second night, we drove over to Schwaigern and went to the inn where we had stayed the time before.  It apparently was no longer offering rooms, though the dining hall was apparently being used.  Two or three miles away is Gemmingen and we drove over to it.  We did not find any rooms there so we decided to ask at a restaurant where we might find a "Doppelzimmer".  The response was, "Here."  Outside the building there was nothing to indicate that the establishment offered rooms, just an advertisment for their dining facilities.

There are not too many advertising signs in Germany, except for a couple of notable exceptions.  McDonalds puts up poles with their golden arches on them.  The other highly visible advertiser was the Shell Oil Co.

The third day was an exception to the usual activity, since it was Eleanor’s birthday.  We went up to Ladenberg, about ten miles northwest from Heidelberg.  Ladenburg is an example of an old town which attracts even the Germans.  In Ladenberg, history did not start with the Tenth Century.  It started with the Romans, in the First Century.  Excavations show the Roman activity at the bottom, about eight feet down, with overlays of later German building.  In a genealogical sense, we are reminded that many of us have some Roman blood.
(01 Jun 02)



Nr. 1398:

We ate lunch in Ladenberg and found that the discipline of children could be totally absent.  A German family had three children, and the two who were large enough to walk ran all over the restaurant making much noise.  We had another two instances of this during our three weeks which was not what we expected in Germany.

In the afternoon, we drove through the heart of Heidelberg to be able to go up the Neckar River to some castles.  I always fear leaving town.  Getting into the town is not hard, but it is very easy to get lost on the way out of town.  This time, we made the exit perfectly, perhaps because we were using the strategy of following the Neckar River.  Upstream from Heidelberg there are several castles (Gutenberg, which we visited on the last trip, is one; see the photos on the Gutenberg Photos page on the Germanna Colonies Family History Web Site).  We picked Hirschhorn Castle to explore.  It involved a long walk uphill and when we got to the top there was really nothing to see except the Neckar River.  I recommend avoiding this one.

We continuing along the Neckar River, almost to Heilbronn, where we crossed back into the Kraichgal, the home of many Germanna people.  We were still staying in Gemmingen, where we spent the previous night, so we returned there.  On one of the two evenings in Gemmingen we went to Zaberfeld, the home of the Käfers, and to Stetten a. Heuchelberg, the home of the Holds/Holts.  Many other Germanna villages are not far away.

The fourth day was to be a big day.  We drove to the east through Heilbronn and stopped to visit the village of Waldbach, which is where the Waylands hailed from.  Then we headed for a series of small villages not far from Feuchtwangen in Bavaria.  The first was Haundorf, where Martin Utz, the grandfather of our 1717 George Utz, was from.  From there we could see, at a distance of about a mile, Seiderzell, where Michael Utz, the father of George Utz, lived (this is where George was born).  About the same distance away from there was Kühnhard, where the grandmother and great-grandmother of George lived.  Some of the villages were so small they did not have churches, so the church at Mosbach was used.  This is somewhere between a mile and two miles from Kühnhard.  About two miles north of Mosbach is Bergnerzell, where several of these people lived.  All together, five villages were involved, and one could be in one of the villages and have the other four villages in the viewfinder of a wide angle lens (the countryside was relatively flat and open).

In Bergnerzell, I made inquiries as to whether there were any people by the name of Utz living there.  The man went inside and brought out a telephone book and showed me a page and a half with the Utz name.  He thought it was humorous.  Whether he was smiling at the crazy American who would ask the question, or whether he was smiling at the answer of a page and a half of Utzes I don’t know.  Perhaps both.

I tell some of my Bavarian friends that I have more Bavarian ancestors and cousins than they do.  At least one agrees with me.
(03 Jun 02)



Nr. 1399:

Someone asked where Frankfort was.  It is the capital of Kentucky.  It is not to be confused with Frankfurt in Germany, as I did here a few notes ago.

In the last note, I omitted one place that we visited before we got to the Utz villages.  We dropped in on Schainbach, a very small village.  Not too far away is Crailsheim.  Both of these places are associated with Johann Christian Schulz who came with the Gaars to America.

After we left the Utz villages, we headed for Obermichelbach, where we had a reservation to stay for two nights.  Our objectives were several.  First, we wanted to meet the Friedrich Gaar family.  He and I are sixth cousins, once removed.  His children are my seventh cousins.  Friedrich Gaar descends from a younger brother of the Andreas Garr who came to America in 1732.  While Andreas Gaar lived in Illenschwang, Friedrich lives about a mile and a half away from there, in Obermichelbach.  The family of Friedrich consists of his wife and three children, the oldest (Martina) of which is 15, and the youngest is about 10.  Martina was the chief interpreter and she did an excellent job.

The Gaars live on enough land that they can keep some animals, principally sheep.  There are some chickens, ducks, and geese and the children keep a few rabbits as pets.  The family does a lot together including having a five-piece band.  They are active in the local Obermichelbach church.

During the next morning which was a Saturday, Eleanor and I drove to some of the villages where the ancestors of the Garrs lived.  Then on Saturday afternoon, Friedrich, Martina, Eleanor, and I drove to the Illenschwang church where we met the pastor, Arno Schneider.  I gave the Illenschwang church a large photograph of Hebron Lutheran Church which the Gaars helped build.  Also, I gave the church a copy of Huddles History of the Hebron Lutheran Church.

I had wanted to examine the portraits of the apostles which hung in the chancel.  Andreas Gaar is said to have given one, and his name was supposedly on the back of it.  Friedrich had brought a tall ladder and he climbed up to remove the portrait of St. Andreas, but we abandoned the attempt as too dangerous for both Friedrich and the painting.  (All of the portraits have a date in the 1800s and a name on the front of them.  They may mean that the original paintings have been replaced.)

Saturday night, the Blankenbaker family treated the Gaar family to dinner.  Afterwards we went to the Gaar home (about 300 feet down the road) for a talk session and a tour of their place.  The next morning, Sunday, Martina and her father went to church in Illenschwang with us (the rest of the Gaar family went to church in Obermichelbach).  The minister in Illenschwang worked Andreas Gaar into his sermon.  Nearly all histories of Illenschwang note that Andreas Gaar left from there.  In some ways, he is their most famous citizen.  After the church service, we took our leave of the Gaars and headed for other cousins in Nürnburg.
(04 Jun 02)



Nr. 1400:

When we left the Illenschwang church service, we drove back to Obermichelbach so we could say goodby to all of the Garrs ­ Friedrich, Gisela, Martina, Silke, and Norbert.  Then we left for Nürenberg where we planned to stay two nights.  We had an appointment at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday to call on the Plankenbühlers.  The grandfather and grandmother are Richard and Gisela.  They have one son, Roland, who also lives in Nürnberg with his wife, Renate, and children, Kathrin (16) and Thomas.  (Incidentally, there is only one other Plankenbühler in Germany.  There are about fifteen Blankenbühlers.)

I had deliberately asked in advance if we might not come on Sunday hoping that Roland and his family could join us.  In fact, Roland did even more.  He picked up us at our hotel and took us to his parents.  The afternoon, and on into the Sunday evening snack, was filled with conversation and questions.  Richard and Gisela can converse in English.  Roland is fluent in English and speaks the language better than many Americans do.  The children are learning English now.  Roland and his family have taken a month’s vacation in the U.S. in an RV.

Richard and I are half-ninth cousins.  If each of us counts back ten generations, we come to our common ancestor, Kilian Planckenbühler, who lived on the Plankenbichl farm outside Gresten, Austria.  It was Richard and Gisela who provided the positive evidence that ties the Blankenbakers back to Austria.

By the end the day, Sunday, we were exhausted and drained.  We had visited two families that have known ties to Germanna people.

About a year ago, I had told Richard of my interest in Illenschwang and the Gaars.  Richard phoned Friedrich Gaar and learned a little information.  This was amplified by my friend Eva May, here in the States, who talked to Friedrich and Martina Gaar on the phone.  It was also Eva May who originally put me in contact with Richard.  I tell this to show my gratitude to all of the people who have helped me.

Monday was a free day in Nürnberg, but unfortunately many museums are closed on that day.  We still found plenty of things to do.  The wall of the old city is nearby and largely intact.  The cathedrals have been rebuilt.  We went to a special exhibition outlining with words and pictures how the Nazi party had come into power during the 1930’s.  The Albrecht Dürer house exists but is undergoing repairs.

Tuesday was devoted to driving south, almost out of Germany; however, we have to take a break tomorrow for the half-century explanations.
(05 Jun 02)


(To see John & Eleanor Blankenbaker's May, 2000, and May, 2002, Germany and Austria photos, click here.)

(This page contains the FIFTY-SIXTH set of Notes, Nr. 1376 through Nr. 1400.)


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

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

If you are interested in subscribing to this List, click here.  You don't need to type anything, just click on "Send".  You will shortly receive a Welcome Message explaining the List.

(GERMANNA History Notes, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 John BLANKENBAKER.)
(GERMANNA History Web Pages, Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 George W. DURMAN.)
This material has been compiled and placed on this web site by George W. Durman, with the permission of John BLANKENBAKER.  It is intended for personal use by genealogists and researchers, and is not to be disseminated further.

Index Links to All Pages of John's GERMANNA NOTES and Genealogy Comments
INDEX Links to All Pages of John's GERMANNA NOTES
Pg.001-Notes 0001-0025
Pg.002-Notes 0026-0050
Pg.003-Notes 0051-0075
Pg.004-Notes 0076-0100
Pg.005-Notes 0101-0125
Pg.006-Notes 0126-0150
Pg.007-Notes 0151-0175
Pg.008-Notes 0176-0200
Pg.009-Notes 0201-0225
Pg.010-Notes 0226-0250
Pg.011-Notes 0251-0275
Pg.012-Notes 0276-0300
Pg.013-Notes 0301-0325
Pg.014-Notes 0326-0350
Pg.015-Notes 0351-0375
Pg.016-Notes 0376-0400
Pg.017-Notes 0401-0425
Pg.018-Notes 0426-0450
Pg.019-Notes 0451-0475
Pg.020-Notes 0476-0500
Pg.021-Notes 0501-0525
Pg.022-Notes 0526-0550
Pg.023-Notes 0551-0575
Pg.024-Notes 0575-0600
Pg.025-Notes 0601-0625
Pg.026-Notes 0626-0650
Pg.027-Notes 0651-0675
Pg.028-Notes 0676-0700
Pg.029-Notes 0701-0725
Pg.030-Notes 0726-0750
Pg.031-Notes 0751-0775
Pg.032-Notes 0776-0800
Pg.033-Notes 0801-0825
Pg.034-Notes 0826-0850
Pg.035-Notes 0851-0875
Pg.036-Notes 0876-0900
Pg.037-Notes 0901-0925
Pg.038-Notes 0926-0950
Pg.039-Notes 0951-0975
Pg.040-Notes 0976-1000
Pg.041-Notes 1001-1025
Pg.042-Notes 1026-1050
Pg.043-Notes 1051-1075
Pg.044-Notes 1076-1100
Pg.045-Notes 1101-1125
Pg.046-Notes 1126-1150
Pg.047-Notes 1151-1175
Pg.048-Notes 1176-1200
Pg.049-Notes 1201-1225
Pg.050-Notes 1226-1250
Pg.051-Notes 1251-1275
Pg.052-Notes 1276-1300
Pg.053-Notes 1301-1325
Pg.054-Notes 1326-1350
Pg.055-Notes 1351-1375
Pg.056-Notes 1376-1400
Pg.057-Notes 1401-1425
Pg.058-Notes 1426-1450
Pg.059-Notes 1451-1475
Pg.060-Notes 1476-1500
Pg.061-Notes 1501-1525
Pg.062-Notes 1526-1550
Pg.063-Notes 1551-1575
Pg.064-Notes 1576-1600
Pg.065-Notes 1601-1625
Pg.066-Notes 1626-1650
Pg.067-Notes 1651-1675
Pg.068-Notes 1676-1700
Pg.069-Notes 1701-1725
Pg.070-Notes 1726-1750
Pg.071-Notes 1751-1775
Pg.072-Notes 1776-1800
Pg.073-Notes 1801-1825
Pg.074-Notes 1826-1850
Pg.075-Notes 1851-1875
Pg.076-Notes 1876-1900
Pg.077-Notes 1901-1925
Pg.078-Notes 1926-1950
Pg.079-Notes 1951-1975
Pg.080-Notes 1976-2000
Pg.081-Notes 2001-2025
Pg.082-Notes 2026-2050
Pg.083-Notes 2051-2075
Pg.084-Notes 2076-2100
Pg.085-Notes 2101-2125
Pg.086-Notes 2126-2150
Pg.087-Notes 2150-2175
Pg.088-Notes 2176-2200
Pg.089-Notes 2201-2225
Pg.090-Notes 2226-2250
Pg.091-Notes 2251-2275
Pg.092-Notes 2276-2300
Pg.093-Notes 2301-2325
Pg.094-Notes 2326-2350
Pg.095-Notes 2351-2375
Pg.096-Notes 2376-2400
Pg.097-Notes 2401-2425
Pg.098-Notes 2426-2450
Pg.099-Notes 2451-2475
Pg.100-Notes 2476-2500
Pg.101-Comments 0001-0025


INDEX Links to All Pages of John's GENEALOGY COMMENTS

(As of 12 April 2007, John published the last of his "Germanna Notes"; however, he is going to periodically post to the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List in the form of "Genealogy Comments" on various subjects, not necessarily dealing with Germanna.  I'm starting the numbering system anew, starting with Comment Nr. 0001.)

Pg.101-Comments 0001-0025
This Page Contains Notes 1376 through 1400.

Go To
Top.

  [Back to John's Notes Index Page]

  [Germanna Colonies Home Page]

  [GERMANNA Home Page]