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

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This Page Contains Notes 1576 through 1600.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 64

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Nr. 1576:

Recently, we looked at one man’s reaction to his treatment by the overlords.  I will continue in that same vein but not quite so personal.  The area is the Kraichgau, which overlaps the area from where many members of the Second Germanna Colony came.  The rulers in the Kraichgau were not strong; in fact, they were relatively weak, having only small territories.  Generally, they were so small that there was no standing army.  Many times the rulers would better be called knights.  Their existence was precarious as they had much more powerful neighbors on all sides.  Troubles with their residents could backfire and threaten the existence of the knights.

The Kraichgau was hit very hard by the wars of the Seventeenth Century.  The Thirty Years’ War was bad, and that was followed by a series of incursions by the French armies.  The population was reduced and buildings were damaged.  The knights, though, wanted to live well, better than the existing tax base would support.  The knights tried to raise the fees and taxes and to claim the common lands that were the right of the villagers to use.

In Ittlingen, about two or three miles from Gemmingen, the Öttlinger family attempted to increase duties, in violation of an agreement dating back to 1579, but the inhabitants succeeded in blocking this move by complaining to an Imperial court.  Note that there were some agreements of long standing between the knights and the inhabitants.  The von Kochendorf family began increasing feudal dues to pay for a new residence.  They also began enclosing the common fields for their private use.  They banned meetings of the village assembly and began selling off village interests to outsiders.  A salt monopoly was sold to a Jewish merchant and the 200-year-old common bakery was sold to a private individual.  Heavier fines were assessed for slight infractions of local ordinances.  The villages really became suspicious when the Herrschaft (Lords) took the cellar of the town hall (owned by the villagers) and converted it into a jail.

When the von Kochendorfs built a fence around the village meadow, the villagers tore it down.  These events were repeated once more.  The villagers also expelled the Jewish merchant who had the salt monopoly.  They submitted a twelve-point complaint to the court which had jurisdiction over the knights.

By now the von Gemmingens and von Kochendorfs considered the villagers of Ittlingen in rebellion.  Bent on a course of increasing their revenues and maintaining their presence in the parish, they took extreme measures against the village in 1720.  First, they raised the fees for grazing rights (established by an agreement in 1584) for the villagers’ hogs on the commons.  When the villagers refused to pay and complained to Heilbronn again, the von Gemmingens and the von Kocherdorfs escalated the “hog war”.
(22 Jan 03)



Nr. 1577:

The von Gemmingens and von Kochendorfs could see that a more drastic action was necessary to get the attention of the villagers who tore down the fences and complained to the higher courts.  On a Sunday morning when all of the villagers were attending the compulsory church service, the "vons" had twenty hired men round up the village hogs (160 head) and take them to Gemmingen.

The villagers discovered the theft of their hogs that afternoon.  They met to discuss what to do.  While they were doing this, some of the younger men followed the trial of the hogs to Gemmingen.  One group wanted to march on Gemmingen and retrieve the hogs.  Another group was more moderate but they banded together with oaths (with one exception) not to give up the struggle against the Herrschaft (Lords) until they had won.  Instead of a physical assault, they complained to the court at Heilbronn which ruled in their favor.

The Herrschaft ignored the Imperial Court's ruling and began selling the hogs at bargain prices.  They threatened to take the villagers' cattle also.  They did try to steal the sheep.  Shots were fired and the Herrschaft's men retreated.  Fearing possible Imperial intervention against their cause, the von Gemmingens and von Kocherdorfs lost their nerve and sought a truce.  An appeal was made to the Imperial authorities to mediate the dispute and the Herrschafts had to make a partial repayment for the lost hogs.

This did not smooth relations between the villagers and their Herrschaft.  The pause created time for planning the next phase.  In 1721, the Herrschaft hand-picked a new Lutheran pastor, who began preaching obedience to the authorities.  The pastor went too far in his zeal.  After six months of being berated for their past behavior, the villagers met to decide what to do about the new preacher, who seemed to be taking the side of the Herrschaft.  A committee of six went to the preacher's house where they demanded that he revise his style of preaching or they would go to church elsewhere and stop supporting him financially.  He replied that he had a degree from the University at Heidelberg and he did not have to defend his style of preaching to them.  The von Gemmingens and von Kocherdorfs backed down again and they told the preacher that he would receive no funds from them for the construction of a new parsonage and church.  Somehow, these words reached the understanding of the preacher and he changed his approach in his sermons.  He went on to stay for twenty years.

This series of incidents is interesting for a variety of reasons.  There were agreements between the Herrschafts and the peasants going back to the 16th century.  The peasants were well aware of these.
(to be continued)
(23 Jan 03)



Nr. 1578:

(continued from Note Nr. 1577)
The book that I used for the last two notes was "Hopeful Journeys" by Aaron Spencer Fogleman, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in a soft cover in 1996.  Even with 250 pages of packed information in it, the price was still modest.  It furnishes a lot of insight about the region that the Second Germanna Colony came from, even though there is not a perfect geographical overlap.  I have been mentioning Gemmingen (the place), and six families left there in 1717.

What we were witnessing in the Kraichgau in the early Eighteenth Century was the awakening of the peasants and villagers (not exclusive groups).  They were realizing that they had rights and could act together to help each another.  In addition, they were learning to use higher authority as a weapon against the local rulers.

The Herrschafts (Lords) could be very arbitrary, and certainly they felt no need to consult the residents about any course of action.  But they were beginning to learn that they had to show some moderation.  In the first decade of the eighteenth century, the Catholic Prince of Nassau-Siegen executed a man, without a trial, because he was thought to have aided the miners and iron workers in protesting the unfair treatment they were receiving from the Prince.  To show the workers who was boss, the head of the executed man was mounted on a pole so all the citizens could see it.  As a result of this extreme action, the prince was relieved of his duties by the Emperor and the principality was ruled by the Bishops of Cologne, though this seemed to do little to help the citizens.

In the last note, we saw that the knights thought they could steal 160 hogs belonging to the villagers.

But the citizens had hardly come to any sort of democratic state.  They were very much under the heel of the Herrschaft.  During the Eighteenth Century, the growing population created a labor surplus.  One felt lucky to have a job and was not about to disturb this source of income.

There was one way in which the citizens could vote and that was to leave their homes.  After some repressions in a village, one could expect to find that in the next few years there would be increased immigration.  Fogelman cites a number of these.  Sometimes the extent of this alarmed the rulers and they enacted laws and taxes whose object was to prevent people from leaving.

Often the pattern of this immigration was that a few people, perhaps only one, would leave and he would write home about his experiences.  This seemed to encourage increased numbers of people to immigrate.  The letters written back to Germany were powerful influences.
(24 Jan 03)



Nr. 1579:

(This discussion of Hesse is continued from Note Nr. 1572, dated 17 January 2003.  GWD WebMaster)

I continue with information on life in Eighteenth Century Germany with material from Heinemeier's "A Social History of Hesse".  One area of Hesse was Darmstadt, which was ruled from 1676 to 1739 by Landgrave Ernst Ludwig.  He was unusual in that he adopted a tolerant attitude toward religion.  Over the protests of the Darmstadt council, he enacted an ordinance in 1691 granting enhanced rights to the small Jewish community in Darmstadt, or in any area with more than ten resident adult Jewish males.  They were allowed to worship openly on their Sabbath and other holidays.  They had no regular synagogue at first and it was not until 1735 that a Jewish widow opened her home as a synagogue.  The town council opposed the admission of Jewish peddlers, who they said had an adverse impact on their Christian competitors.  Even while upholding the rights of the Jewish people, the Landgrave took the opportunity to impose special taxes on them.  The Darmstadt Jewish community with about thirty heads of households had to pay an annual tax of 5,000 guilders a year for the maintenance of state hunting dogs and cavalry, plus other taxes.

The secular and church authorities opposed all other religions except the state-sanctioned Lutheranism.  Local church authorities squelched the suggestion that the Latin school be opened to orphan children of Catholic and Jewish faiths.  They did want these groups to become upwardly mobile.  The Protestant authorities less successfully opposed the Landgrave when he gave Catholics permission to worship in town.  The Landgrave's position may have originated with a Spanish actor, who was his favorite, and the state postmaster, who was a Catholic.

The Landgrave began planning for a new opera house beginning in 1709, using the talents of a borrowed French architect.  The work crew for this project consisted of forty cabinet makers, twenty carpenters, nine painters, four sculptors, and assorted masons, smiths, and other workers.  The architect complained because the workmen were too argumentative.  The opera house opened in 1711 amid the debts of the Landgrave to pay for the structure.

Ernst Ludwig's rabid attachment to hunting was the source of many complaints and placed him at loggerheads with the Town Council.  He had the local forest enclosed with hedges to protect and imprison the game animals.  The townspeople protested because they were accustomed to letting their pigs roam the forest for food.  A half dozen hunting lodges were erected within a short distance of Darmstadt at a substantial cost so that Ludwig and his son could enjoy their hunting.  Great impositions were made on the locals to provide hauling and bush-beating services in support of the hunts to which they made loud and widespread complaints.  Perhaps even worse was the damage caused by the hunters who rode through crops and fields with impunity.  A visitor in 1730 noted that the game thrived and it wandered up to the edge of the town causing more crop damage from their foraging.
(25 Jan 03)



Nr. 1580:

We are still with Landgrave Ernst Ludwig in Hesse-Darmstadt.  This was really quite a small principality, much too small to support the ambitions of Ludwig.  The population rose from about 1,900 to more than 3,000 by 1721, due mainly to the importation of labor to build Ludwig's projects such as the opera house and the hunting lodges.  At the end there was surplus labor, more than Darmstadt could support.  At the same time, Ludwig undertook measures to improve the quality of work, especially that done by the Guilds.  A proficiency test was required.

The largest Guilds were the shoemakers and the tailors, who were busy in wartime supplying the soldiers, but who had insufficient markets in peacetime.  The butchers, bakers, locksmiths, blacksmiths, saddlers, hat makers, and building trades had more members than necessary to meet the normal demands of the population.

Average people were barred from enjoying the productions of the town opera and court orchestra; these were restricted for the pleasure of the Landgrave and the highest caste of courtiers and town fathers.  Church music, including bell ringing, organ playing, and choral productions were open to wider audiences, however.

The Landgrave's sumptuous hunts, his major building programs, the opera companies, orchestra productions, and other trappings of princely life run up huge debts that tax income could never accommodate.  Economically hard-pressed citizens often chose to emigrate to Hungary or other places.  A local School Master was complaining by the late 1720's that so many of the locals had emigrated or sunk into poverty that his income from school taxes was shrinking fast.  Immigrants' reasons for leaving included too many compulsory services, the huge and destructive hunts, and the predation of their fields by the game animals protected by the Landgrave.

The Landgrave debased the currency in an effort to make it stretch, which caused inflation and economic hardship.  When Ludwig died in 1739, he left behind a debt of four million guilders.  His son was as avid a hunter as his father but even poorer in financial management.  The financial affairs of the state continued to drift during his reign.  In the War of the Austrian Succession, the French army marched into his lands in mid-1743 and seized Darmstadt.  The usual requirements for quartering troops at local expense and providing food, money, and provender were laid on the populace.  Over the next two years, the lands were plundered of grain, vegetables, beets, and other food.  The recently introduced potato crop was ravaged by French foragers.

(This discussion of Hesse continues in Note Nr. 1582, dated 29 January 2003.  GWD WebMaster) (27 Jan 03)



Nr. 1581:

(I leave Hesse temporarily to discuss Germanna families in Kentucky.)
Many Germanna citizens were early residents of Kentucky.  Some of these took the northern route through Pennsylvania and down the Ohio River.  There are claims that their settlement in Kentucky was contemporaneous with the settlement of the party that Daniel Boone took.  I have not made a study of this question, but here are a few names of early Kentucky settlers from Germanna.

Jacob (of Jacob) Holtzclaw applied for a grant of land in Kentucky in 1776 under the "corn law" saying he had already grown a crop in Kentucky.  On 20 Feb 1775, he sold his last land in Virginia and moved to Kentucky.  Jacob had married Susanna Thomas and the Thomas and Smith family members were also quite early in the westward migration.

Adam Smith has no record at the Hebron church after 1777.  He has a daughter Susanna who married a Thomas.  Adam's brothers, Zachariah and John, also have no records at the church after 1777.  They too moved to Kentucky.

Stephen Fisher has his last record at Hebron in 1778, as does his brother Adam.  They emigrated to Kentucky.

Margaret Thomas married Everhard Hupp and moved to southwestern "Pennsylvania".  It has been said that she was the first white woman west of the Alleghenies.  She was from Culpeper, as were the Hupps.

One family is present in all of these cases in the descendants that I have not mentioned.  That is the Blankenbaker family.  Jacob Holtzclaw married a Thomas.  All of the Germanna Thomases have a Blankenbaker ancestor.  The Smiths mentioned here had a Blankenbaker ancestor in the form of Anna Magdalena Thomas.  The Germanna Fishers all had a Blankenbaker ancestor, Anna Barbara Blankenbaker.  We did not mention the Gaars but all of the surname Gaar/Garr have a Blankenbaker ancestor as do all of the surname Aylor.

Where did the Blankenbakers get this wanderlust?  Perhaps it started about 1655 when Matthias Planckenbuehler left Gresten, Austria, because he wished to retain his Lutheran religion.  He went almost to the Rhine River, where the family stopped for a couple of generations.  Then they set out for the New World.  Margaret Thomas Hupp was not much more than a century from Gresten.

There were other Culpeper residents who also went west at the same time.  Some of these were English.
(28 Jan 03)



Nr. 1582:

(I leave Kentucky and return to Hesse.)

(This discussion of Hesse is continued from Note Nr. 1580, dated 27 January 2003.  GWD WebMaster)

A most difficult time for the peasantry came in the Fall after harvest, when most of their taxes and tithes fell due.  Often they had to hand over such a large percentage of their production that it was impossible to live through the winter on the rest.  One official reported that the peasants had barely enough wherewithal to last until the feast of St. Peter (February 22).  As an example in 1786-88, the hamlet of Solms had to hand over almost two-thirds of it rye and four-fifths of its oats.  The lower officials who were close to the problem asked that the taxes be remitted until later in the winter when the villagers had a better chance of selling their produce for better prices.  With the taxes due so soon after harvest, everyone had to go the marketplace at the same time and prices were reduced.  In the 1730s and 1780s this was a prevalent problem.

Hesse did not have particularly good farm land, but it did have a central location.  Therefore, a lot of commerce passed through Hesse (especially to Frankfort) and it required good roads.  Without decent roads, the merchants would find alternative routes around Hesse.  I give you one guess as to who had provide the labor for keeping the roads in shape.  Road work was periodically demanded of all farmers, usually in two major efforts each year.  In the Spring and Fall the state road inspector would examine the roads and note any deficiencies.  The communities had to turn out the manpower which had to bring their own shovels, picks, axes, etc., to make the needed repairs.  The roller to smooth the road and to pack it was not in use yet.  The alternative was heavy hammers.  If you had to provide a man and you sent a child or a sick person, you were subject to a fine.

Some classes of people received exemptions from the standard services.  Most state officials were exempt but if they were property owners they would have to see that labor from their farms reported for service.  Shepherds , village heads, and judicial officials were exempt.  Presumably the shepherds were let off on the grounds that the animals needed full time attention.  Widows were reduced to 50% of the usual.  These were the normal services.  In times of disasters, emergencies, or war, all of the rules were off so that increased services could be expected.

At one time, when a farmer obtained a farm by a letter contract from the Landlord, the farmer had to host a celebratory banquet for his new Lord with food and wine.  This became the recognized means of sealing the deal and making it fully legal.  Gradually this was replaced by a cash payment to the Lord.  If the farmer wanted to sell or lease his rights, he had to pay 5% of the cash value to the Lord.  Sometimes, an inheritance would also require a cash payment, perhaps 10%.

A question to you.  Has all that much changed from then until now?

(This discussion of Hesse continues in Note Nr. 1584, dated 01 February 2003.  GWD WebMaster)
(29 Jan 03)



Nr. 1583:

(Leaving Hesse again to discuss Johannes Freh.)
Whom did Johannes Freh (or Fray, Frey) marry?  He lived in the Robinson River Valley.  A few records at the German Lutheran Church (now called Hebron) tell us very clearly that he married Rebecca Swindle.  Let's look at these records.

Johannes Freh and wife Rebecca had Aron baptized 24 Mar 1776.  The sponsors for the boy were Peter Klor, Michael Schwindel, and Hanna Schwindel.  Peter Klor had married Mary Fray and he was the brother-in-law of Johannes.  Michael Schwindel was Rebecca's brother.  Hanna Schwindel (geb. Weber) [geb. = geboren = born] had married the brother, John, of Rebecca, so she was a sister-in-law of Rebecca.  These are very typical family relationships, not friends.  In the following, I will use modern spellings.

Michael Swindle and wife Elizabeth (geb. Utz) brought Hanna for baptism on 30 Jun 1776.  The sponsors were Geo. Utz, Jr. (Elizabeth's brother); Rebecca Fray (Michael's sister); and Margaret Breil (Elizabeth's sister).  Again, a nice set of family relationships.  Though these sponsors were related by blood, a relationship by marriage is just as good.

Peter Clore and wife Mary (geb. Fray) brought Elizabeth for baptism on 12 Jan 1777.  The sponsors were John Becker (Peter's brother-in-law), Rebecca Frey (Mary's sister-in-law), and Hanna Weaver.  I believe this last name is a mistake for Hanna Swindle.  Rarely, but it does happen, a woman is listed by her maiden name, not her married name (she married John Swindle).  She was Peter's aunt.

Peter Clore and wife Mary (geb. Fray) brought Mary for baptism on 24 Aug (perhaps in 1782).  The sponsors were John Weaver (Peter's uncle), Rebecca Fray (Mary's sister-in-law), and Hanna Swindle (Peter's aunt who married John Swindle).

Peter Clore and wife Mary (geb. Fray) brought John for baptism (date not specified, but born 18 Sep 1784).  The sponsors were John Fray (probably, Peter's brother-in-law), John Weaver (Peter's uncle), and Hanna Swindle (Peter's aunt).

I have looked at hundreds of baptisms and traced out the relationships of the sponsors to the parents.  The examples are typical, though the use of sponsors in another generation is not so common.  Hanna (Weaver) Swindle seems to have been the youngest child in her family, as she was not married when her father wrote his will.  Though there appears to be a generation jump, by physical age the difference may not have been that much.

There is no question that John Fray married Rebecca Swindle.  There is no evidence there ever was a Rebecca Yowell, even though Mrs. Lewis made the statement that she was a Yowell.  B. C. Holtzclaw said he could find no Rebecca Yowell.  The reason, of course, is simple -- she was Rebecca Swindle.  The maiden names of the other women come from many sources, included cases similar to ones we just analyzed.
(30 Jan 03)



Nr. 1584:

[I have been confused on note numbering.  I had one note written when the question of Johannes Frey came up so I intended to substitute a note on Johannes for the one I had written.  In the process, I scrambled my numbers.  Also, I did not write one for Friday.]  (Note from Webmaster:  I have "unscrambled the numbers of John's Notes.  GWD)

(This discussion of Hesse is continued from Note Nr. 1582, dated 29 January 2003.  GWD WebMaster)

(Leaving Johannes Freh and returning to Hesse.)
Life on the farms was hard work.  There was a minimum of equipment and poor yields on the crops.  In most of Hesse, the soils are of an indifferent quality, sometimes running to lots of stones.  [If you have been in one of the vineyards on the hillsides along the Rhine River, you will be amazed at the quantity of stone, perhaps 50% by volume, in the ground.]  Rye and oats were the principal grains.  Wheat and barley were grown, but they took a better soil.  The favored draft animal was an ox, not the horse.

At the start of the century, no fodder crops were grown.  The animals had to live on pasture.  During the century, clover was added to the rotation cycle and was cut and stored for winter food.  The animals then became barnyard or stall animals, not pasturing animals.  This resulted in an increase in food.

Yields in Hesse were generally three to four times what was planted.  Robert Selig has written that in other parts of Europe the yield could reach sixfold.  In either case, to us, it is unbelievably poor.  The ground was poor, it was not prepared the best, no fertilizers were used, and the seed was not genetically the best possible.

As poor as the crops were, crop stealing was a problem.  Night watches had to be posted in the fields at harvest times.  Some villages had sentries at the town gates to catch thieves going and coming.

Life depended to a considerable extent on access to the forests for firewood, building materials, and pasture for pigs.  All of these were strictly controlled by the Lords who held all of the ultimate rights to the forests.  We have already encountered one Landgrave who restricted access because, to him, the forest was a private hunting ground.  The most common types of trees were the oak and beech, which were driving the pine into retreat.  The forest was a valuable resource and it did require maintenance and attention if it was to serve the purposes of grazing, charcoal production, wood, and pasture.  Not given the proper care, the forests could be badly damaged.

[In the Siegen area, not far from the Hesse border, the management of these resources led to the creation of the Hauberg in an effort to achieve and preserve the forest to yield several of these objectives.  The Hauberg, run according to a strict time schedule, was intended to yield wood for charcoal, bark for tanning, smaller wood for heating and cooking in homes, pasture, and grain.] Peasants left to themselves would be inclined to overuse the forests.  Under the lords, the forests were sometimes treated as a private reserve, not a communal asset.
(01 Feb 03)



Nr. 1585:

(Still in Hesse.)
Tension between the forest owners and the local peasants and townsmen was a constant phenomenon because local needs always exceeded the Lords' willingness to grant access and use.  The preservation of existing woods and wild game to ensure viable stocks of prey for the hunts also created much wrangling.  The game animals often emerged from the woods into nearby fields (where the food was much better) but killing the game was forbidden under poaching laws.  Farmers had to hire watchmen to guard the fields day and night, and still much was lost to the animals.

The periodic hunts were grand spectacles of butchery.  It was common for 500 head of deer to be dispatched and sent around to local communities.  Here the game was required to be sold to the locals.  To add to the unpopularity of hunts, they also required compulsory service by the local farmers.  A major hunt in the Landeck District required that 440 horses be provided by the district population for the use of the hunting party.  Adjacent districts had to provide another 80 horses.

Periodic efforts were made by the Landgraves to reduce the nobles' use of compulsory service in support of the hunts because it took time that the peasants needed, instead, to be working in their fields and providing mandatory service in more important tasks.  Some improvement was made in this situation by 1763 regulations.

Over the years the Landgraves began to fear for the health of their forests because oak trees were in an obvious decline.  By the 1730's, new building could only be undertaken with the express approval of the State Exchequer.  Lower stories of houses were to be built of stone or other materials to spare the oaks.  Spaces between the beams were ordered to be increased.  A fine of 100 guilders was levied for selling wood outside Hesse.  In 1740, a man in Widdershausen had to pay a five Taler fine for sending a cord of wood to his widowed mother near Eisenach when she was in dire need.  In 1790, joiners were directed to stop using so many horizontal spars that used the scarce oak.

A combination school house and prayer room built in 1721 in the Westerwald area (between Koblenz and Siegen) illustrates the competing demands of forest preservation and community buildings.  [Think of the Trupbach Chapel School.]  Decorative gothic elements were added to its facade by about 1730; shortly thereafter this type of building with wooden decorations was banned in the interest of saving wood.  These chapel schools were typical of the kind of structures that appeared in the center of many small villages.  They served as multipurpose meeting houses for secular and religious needs.
(03 Feb 03)



Nr. 1586:

(Still in Hesse.)
Mention was made of the communal building used for worship, school, and civic meetings.  In Trupbach (not in Hesse, but not far from it), where many Germanna descendants have an ancestral home, they built, ca 1740, such a structure in the center of the village.  It still stands, and is, today, the home of the local history museum.  There was another type of communal building found throughout Germany.  This was the bakery.  Baking in the home was discouraged.  There were two reasons.  One is that it was a fire hazard for everyone to be baking in the home.  The second reason is that it was a waste of wood which was often scarce.  In Trupbach, they have restored a communal bakery to operating condition.  We (my wife and I) visited it on Saturday when they bake.  We could readily see that another purpose of the bakery was social.  It was a meeting place.  Use of the bakeries as schools, teacher quarters, or poor houses has been noted.  The community owned the bakery and they hired a baker who earned his living by selling the principal output of the bakery, bread.

Because of the hazard of fire, special attention was given to preventing and detecting them.  The night watchman, besides being a security guard, was a fire detection method.  Generally, late night fires were prohibited and he observed whether a home owner was keeping a fire late at night.  In Nassau, compulsory fire brigades were maintained as early as the Seventeenth Century.  Sometimes they had a structure for storage purposes.

Villages in the Eighteenth Century grew more compact.  As the population grew, the village tended to fill in around a central square.  The streets between homes were narrow, with little regard for future needs.  [Last May, we had the opportunity of visiting Ostheim, a village still mired in the middle ages.  It had no streets as we think of them.  Instead, it had walk ways for people and these were sometimes interrupted by stairs.]  In the town square, a linden tree was popular, for it warded off witches, storms, lightening, and other evils.  Here, also, would be found the communal well, and perhaps the public buildings.  But, sometimes, the bakeries would be outside the village as a fire prevention technique.  The village met here to discuss common problems and to learn of their communal obligations.  The town crier might make public announcements.  Wandering players might put on a show here.

Trades that might be found in the village included forges.  If the village was where there was a source of water power, then mills or hammers might be found.

Sheep became a mainstay of the Hessian economy in the Eighteenth Century.  This created, in turn, many jobs such as spinning the wool into thread which could be sold.  This could be a part time job to supplement the other work.  Again, the raising of sheep led to conflict between the Landgraves and the peasants.
(04 Feb 03)



Nr. 1587:

(Still in Hesse.)
In the Eighteenth Century, sheep became the most important farm animal in Hesse.  The Landgraves held the rights to sheep "folding" on any land not otherwise being cultivated.  Many villages had been granted rights to maintain flocks, but creation of a new sheep fold could only be done by the express permission of the State Exchequer.  Sheep owners had to pay annually for the right to maintain their flocks, which might take the form of tax money, mutton, or pasture fees.  Even butter, cheese, and sour sheep's milk had to be provided in specified amounts to the Landgrave or other granting Lord.  At the base of this complicated pyramid was the sheep herder, who was looked down on by society in general.  Shepherds would accompany their flocks around the pastures, some with huts on wheels that allowed them to carry along a bed, a bench, and perhaps a small stove.

Every year before the feast of St. Peter (February 22), a survey was made of the number of sheep being held so a basis for taxing the herds could be established.  No animal could be sold prior to this animal census.  A certain number of lambs and sheep were taken by the Landgrave's shepherds each spring for his own flocks.  After being fattened on the Landgrave's pastures, sheep would be slaughtered in the fall to provide the court with mutton.  In 1735, one Landgrave's share in such sheep amounted to 1,700 head, which were brought from around the Landgraviate and pastured near Kassel.

Well over 200,000 sheep were being held across Hesse by the second half of the Eighteenth Century, when sheep holding reached its greatest extent.  Communities often were at odds over access to the same pastures.  By the close of the century a noticeable fall-off was under way.

The wool trade has been described as a gold mine for the Hessian poor living in marginal areas along hills and mountains.  Spinning took place in homes, and the resulting sales of thread brought much-needed cash to many a family.  Wool was easier to work into yarn or thread than flax was.  (These were the two main sources of fabric for the lower classes.)  The wool was first carded to loosen the fibers and to make it easier to spin.  Spinning twisted the fibers together to form a knot-free thread, and the foot-powered wheel left both hands free to feed the fibers.  Hessian wool goods were shipped down the Rhine River and sold internationally.  Master wool weavers employed thousands in Frankenberg, Hersfeld, and other areas of upper and lower Hesse.

Flax weaving was another means pursued by the lower income folk to earn additional wages.  The entire family could participate in this with harvesting, retting, separating the tow, and spinning the thread.  Even twelve year olds could master the wheel.  In the winter, the whole family might be working on flax from the break of light to the evening darkness.
(05 Feb 03)



Nr. 1588:

(Still in Hesse.)
One side product of the wool and flax trades in Hesse was the chance to socialize.  Young men and women appreciated the chance to be with others of their own age.  In addition to the work, there might be singing, or music, dancing, story telling, or reading aloud.

A rural Linenweaver's Guild was recognized by the Landgrave and granted equal rights with the town guilds.  After the guild raised the price, their right to be the exclusive sellers of thread was cancelled.  In 1774, the rural guild had 600 masters.  The linen makers gave the wool weavers competition; however, both classes of products were in worldwide demand, even to the Americas.  The British auxiliaries helped to spread the news of the availability of wool and linen products from Germany.  The Hessian products were expensive, but the quality was the best.

Beer and brandy were the drinks of choice in the eighteenth century.  Some people grew their own hops and made their home brew.  Generally, the Landgrave set up exclusive franchises for the making of these products and charged a permit fee.  (Sometimes he set himself up as the exclusive brewer.)  Beer was not seen as a social problem, but the brandy sometimes created problems such as drunkenness and its adverse consequences.

Farmhouse furniture in this area was made by local carpenters and was of a very basic design.  Seating for tables was benches, not chairs.  A home might have one chair with a decorated backrest.  Another place for decoration was the plate shelf in the kitchen/entrance area.  Chests were a prized possession of the farm wife who often owned one before her marriage.  She would try to fill it with clothes before the wedding.  The bride often brought a bed and cradle to the marriage.  Late in the century, the classic wardrobe, or Schrank, was introduced in rural areas, based on the designs used in the towns.

The kitchen used a raised hearth for cooking.  This was not for heating.  From the cooking hearth, an opening led to an "oven" in the living room.  The fire was tended from, and the smoke escaped through, the kitchen.  The living room was kept free of the smoke by the free standing stove which had no outlets in the room.  (Our five-plate stove here drew its inspiration from the German design.)
(John's discussion of Hesse starts up again in
Note Nr. 1616, dated 12 March 2003.  GWD, WebMaster)
(06 Feb 03)



Nr. 1589:

(Leaving Hesse for a while.  I have not exhausted what Hesse could tell us, but I thought a change of topic might be welcome right about now.)
(John's discussion of Hesse starts up again in
Note Nr. 1616, dated 12 March 2003.  GWD, WebMaster)

We have had some discussion about the Yagers and baptismal sponsorships.  So I thought we might take a look at the baptisms of the children of Michael Yager and his wife Elizabeth.  (I will use modern spellings throughout, whereas the surname was spelled many different ways, including Yaeger, Yeager, Jager, Jaeger, etc..)

We are not certain what Elizabeth's maiden name was.  It is widely reported that it was Manspiel, but I am not certain if there are any facts supporting this idea.  When their eldest child, John, was baptized, the sponsors were John Weaver, Peter Clore, and Dorothy (Cook) Carpenter.  One of these is a very rational choice by the principles that I generally espouse.  That is Peter Clore who is a brother-in-law of the father, Michael.  He had married Barbara Yager.  But why John Weaver and Dorothy Cook Carpenter were selected is unknown.

For the next child, Samuel, in 1752, the sponsors were John Zimmerman, John Weaver, and Barbara Chelf.  Barbara is Michael's sister, so she is an obvious choice, except in 1752 she was a Clore not a Chelf.  I could not say whether John Zimmerman is really a Zimmerman or a Carpenter.  In any case, he and John Weaver are mysteries.

For the next child with sponsors, Susanna, she was named for her aunt, Susanna Willheit Yager who married Michael's brother Nicholas.  Both of these were sponsors, and are the expected type of choice.  The third sponsor was Susanna Utz, and we have a handicap in that we do not know her maiden name.  The reason for choosing her is not obvious.

For Eva, the sponsors are Nicholas Yager, Susanna Utz, and Barbara (Kaifer) Weaver, the wife of John Weaver above.  Nicholas, yes, the other two are mysteries.  For the child Elizabeth, the sponsors are Nicholas Yager, Susanna Yager, and Barbara Weaver again.  Two strikes and one ball.

For Jemima, Godfrey Yager, Nicholas's brother is a sponsor.  Then come two that are not clear as to why they were chosen:  Nancy Graves and Elies. Becker.  It is not clear whether Graves was Nancy's maiden name or married name.  For Michael, we strike the batter out.  The sponsors are Phillip Chelf, Barbara (Yager Clore) Chelf, and John Yager, the last being Nicholas' brother.  Barbara has remarried and her new husband is Phillip Chelf.

For Hanna, the sponsors are Phillip Chelf and Barbara Weaver.  Barbara Weaver remains a mystery.  For Rachel, the sponsors are John Yager, Mary (Willheit) Yager, and Susanna (Willheit) Yager, for one brother and two sisters-in-law.  (That's all folks but the story will continue.)
(07 Feb 03)



Nr. 1590:

Let’s start with how the people who wrote up the baptismal register (see last note) could know in 1752 that Barbara Yager would marry a Chelf about 1768.  Either they were fortune tellers, or there is more to the story than we have said so far.  Well, it is the latter case.  There was a set of records dating from 1750 and, in 1774 or 75, someone decided to rewrite the records of baptisms into a new book.  They read the name Barbara Clore (Klor) and said that would not be a meaningful name as there was on one in the community in 1774 by that name.  And they were correct.  About 1767, Barbara Yager Clore’s husband, Peter, died.  She married again, this time Philip Chelf.  In 1768 there was someone in the community named Barbara Chelf but there was no Barbara Clore.  So, in the 1774 or 1775 rewrite, all the Barbara Clores were converted into Barbara Chelfs.

Michael Yager made all of the right choices in selecting sponsors.  He chose brothers and sisters and their spouses.

We are left with John Weaver (x2), Dorothy Cook Carpenter, John Zimmerman, Susanna Utz, Barbara Käfer Weaver (x3), Nancy Graves, and Eliz. Becker, for whom we have no known reason that they were selected.  If we knew the maiden name of Michael Yager’s wife, Elizabeth, it might help explain some of these.  As mentioned previously, we think she may have been a Manspiel.  We wish that we knew more about the Manspiel family.

I have looked at whom Elizabeth Yager sat next to in church, as relatives often sat together.  There is no pattern to the names of the people sitting next to Elizabeth.  I have concluded that Elizabeth Yager was not from one of the families who are commonly found in church.  That would be consistent with her being a Mansfield, but it is hardly evidence that she was a Mansfield.

We do have support as to who the brothers and sisters of Michael Yager were.  Besides Michael, we have Barbara, John, Nicholas, and Godfrey, but not Adam.  Godfrey, especially, was much younger than Michael.  Godfrey had barely arrived when Michael left to start his own home.  So I would not expect Michael and Godfrey to be very close.  Godfrey shows up once about the time he is confirmed.  Adam was about ten younger than Michael, so he too was probably not close.

Perhaps I should not have picked one of the troublesome sets to start this topic.  I will look at some of the more classical ones that follow the expected pattern.  My experience is that these odd balls have the most to tell us, as they often say something is not right in the standard story.  If anyone can say something helpful about these unclassified sponsors for the children of Michael and Elizabeth Yager, please speak up.
(08 Feb 03)



Nr. 1591:

I do not have the answer as to who the wife of Michael Yager was.  I may never.  But I want to think about it some more before I comment on the excellent response that was made in the Mailing List.  I do appreciate it.

In my last note I described John Weaver and Barbara Käfer Weaver, his wife, as unknowns in the sense that I did not know why they had been selected.  Actually, there is a respectable reason as was made by some commentators on the Mailing List.  It goes back to Susanna Clore Weaver Crigler Yager, to give her maiden name and the surnames of her three husbands.  John Weaver’s father was Peter Weaver, and Peter’s mother was Susanna.  Michael Yager’s grandfather was Nicholas Yager, the last husband of Susanna.

(In finding the wife of Peter Fleshman (Sr.), Susanna was the key there because her four families turned up repeatedly in the associations in the Communion Lists that the children of Peter Fleshman, Sr., made.)

We are left with five unexplained choices for sponsors:

  • Dorothy Cook Carpenter,
  • John Zimmerman (Zimmerman? or Carpenter?),
  • Susanna Utz (maiden name unknown),
  • Nancy Graves (an unusual name at this time in the Hebron church), and
  • Eliz. (Clore?) Becker.
The last of these names might provide an explanation, as her grandfather’s sister was Susanna.

One of the things that I had been thinking about is that we do not have a definitive definition of the Crigler family, one element in the four families of Susanna.  I am inclined to believe there were only two sons, Christopher and Nicholas, but I don’t believe anything would prevent there being another child, especially a girl.

Michael Yager was chosen as a sponsor once by Zacharias Breil and his wife Delia, who was a Clore.  On another occasion Michael was chosen as a sponsor by Nicholas and Mary Willheit.  Nicholas’ mother was Waldburga Weaver, so in both of these cases we see the Clore-Weaver-Crigler-Yager connections perhaps being significant.

I believe that I mentioned before that the Communion Lists shed no light.  After discounted the names adjacent to Michael and Elizabeth, because of the known connection to Michael, there is no pattern to the other names.  This is similar to the baptismal sponsors that we have just discussed.

Craig Kilby asks how do we know that the sequence of names in the Communion List is the seating order.  In the Lutheran church, there is a prescribed pattern for people to go from their pews to the altar for Communion.  It starts with the front pew on the left side and goes back from that until the left side is exhausted.  Then it starts with the right side front and goes to the back.  Then comes the men’s balcony and the women’s balcony.
(10 Feb 03)



Nr. 1592:

Craig suggests that I look more at the John Weaver family for a clue to the family of Michael Yager's wife, Elizabeth.  I think the prospects there are slim as John Weaver's father, Peter, left a very complete will that seemed to cover all of the children and to omit none.  John Weaver's wife, Barbara Käfer, comes from a family with an even more complete will.  Michael Käfer spells out his five kids, his wife's four kids, and names the husbands of the women.  This is why I do not think much can be found by exploring the Weaver-Käfer lines.  On the other hand, Jacob Crigler seems to have died suddenly without any will.  His children are uncertain and we are positive only about the two sons.  Was there, perhaps, a daughter, Elizabeth?

Lets start with Michael Yager's brother, John.  Only two of his children appear in the Baptismal Register.  John Yager, Sr., and wife Maria had Barbara baptized (1777) with Godfrey Yager, Barbara Franck, and Barbara Carpenter as sponsors.  Then two years later, Daniel was the child and his sponsor was John Wayland.  When John Wayland and Rosina had Elizabeth baptized (1779), John Yager was a sponsor along with Elisabeth Christopher and Eve Fisher.  When John Yager, Jun., son of Michael, and Anna Unknown had Samuel baptized, John Yager, Sen., was a sponsor, with Nicholas Willheit and Elizabeth Crigler.  John Yager was also a sponsor for his brother Michael's son, Samuel.  We discussed this one already.  Finally, Daniel Böhme and Nancy had Johannes baptized in 1779 with John Yager, Philip Chelf, and Elizabeth Böhme as sponsors.

At first glance, these seem like a random set of names.  The first thing to do is to add in the maiden names of the women and then consult the tables of ancestry.

Taking the baptism of Barbara, the daughter of John and Maria Yager, note that Maria was a Willheit.  Godfrey Yager was chosen because he was a brother of John.  Barbara Carpenter was probably chosen because she was a Weaver, and, hence, in the Clore-Weaver-Crigler-Yager complex.  Barbara Franck was the minister's wife and was not a relation of anyone (special case).

For the baptism of Daniel of John and Maria Yager, the only sponsor was John Wayland.  When you look in your charts though, you will see that John Wayland married Rosina Willheit who was a sister of the mother, Maria Yager.

When Daniel and Nancy Böhme selected John Yager, they selected a brother of Nancy's stepmother, Barbara Yager Clore Chelf.

John Yager, Sen., was a sponsor for his nephew, John Yager, Jun., who was the son of Michael.  And John Yager returned the favor to the Waylands by being a sponsor of their Elizabeth.

The mystery is why were only two baptisms recorded.  There were several more children than that and John Yager hardly ever missed a Communion Service.  The only two children he had baptized were during the tenure of Jacob Franck.  Did he feel none of the other preachers could do the job?
(11 Feb 03)



Nr. 1593:

We have been looking at the Baptismal and Communion Records for the children of Adam Yager, Sen.  The two youngest, Adam and Godfrey, have only a few records at the Lutheran Church in spite of their father's very active participation there.  The youngest, Godfrey, did appear once as a sponsor for his brother Michael's child.  Godfrey had a child, Maria, baptized in 1777, with John Yager and wife Maria, John Wayland, Jun., and Barbara Carpenter as sponsors.  Also, Godfrey's child Julian, in 1789, was baptized with sponsors John Yager, William Carpenter, Sr., Barbara Carpenter, and Elizabeth Carpenter.  His wife on both of these occasions was Mary Wayland.  Previously, he had been married to a daughter (first name is unknown) of Rev. Klug.  Godfrey never attended any communion services.

Godfrey's record was slightly better than his brother Adam, Jr., for whom we can find no baptismal records as either as a parent or as a sponsor.  Whether Adam attended Communion Services is hard to say, as his father, of the same name, attended frequently.  There is no service at which two Adams are present.

Please note that I am not saying Adam did not go to church.  It is only that there is no record for him at the German Lutheran Church.

On the whole, the these six Yager children have fewer records than many families do.  Other families have still less than these Yager children.  I would not attempt judgments from this distance and time.

As we have gone through some of these baptismal sponsorships, you may have noticed that, while brothers and sisters are often favored, the selection is biased toward particular brothers or sisters.  Michael Yager chose John Yager, Barbara Yager Clore Chelf, and Nicholas much more often than he chose his brothers Godfrey or John.  Nearly always this is the case.  The selection of siblings is very biased.

I think age is an important factor.  We are dealing with families where there may be a twenty-year spread in the ages of the children.  By the time the last one is born, the oldest may have moved out of the home.  Those of similar ages do things together as they grow up.  They become friends in addition to being siblings.  Some of the children may grow up with a negative feeling toward church and refuse to participate.  My ancestor, John Blankenbaker, who was the son of a 1717 immigrant, appears never to have left a record at church.  He never appears on behalf of his only living brother, Christopher.  There not being any other siblings, Christopher chose cousins who lived on the next farm.  He was probably fairly close to these.
(12 Feb 03)



Nr. 1594:

I will send what would be tomorrow's note today.  It pertains to the Clore-Weaver-Crigler-Yager families.

In 1717, Joseph Weaver (Weber) and Susanna his wife [she was a Clore (Klaar), the sister of Michael Clore], left Gemmingen with their son Hans Dietrich, age 7, and their daughter Sophia, age 4.  Dietrich became the Peter Weaver in the Robinson River Valley.  Sophia became the wife of Peter Fleshman as the Communion Lists attest by implication.  En route to America, another daughter, Walburga, was born (evidenced by the head rights list of Spotswood), who became the wife of John Willheit.

Joseph Weaver did not live long in America.  He died before the 1726 Land Patents were issued.  Susanna, his wife, re-married to Jacob Crigler, and we know of two sons from this marriage.  Jacob died in 1734 and Susanna married Nicholas Yager.

Peter Weaver had a land patent of 400 acres in 1736 in which he used the Head Rights of Peter Weaver, Michael Willhite, John Willhite, Tobias Willhite, Mathias Kerckler, and Conrad Amberger.  John Willhite was his brother-in-law who had married Peter's sister, Burga.  This raises the question of whether Kerckler (not Kerker) and Amberger were in some way related to Peter also.

One point to be raised here is that we do not know when Joseph Weaver died.  He could have lived for several years here and HE COULD HAVE BEEN THE FATHER OF MORE CHILDREN.

Could there have been a daughter Elizabeth Weaver who married Michael Yager?  This is, in no way, a statement of fact, but merely a question for discussion.  From the dates, this Elizabeth would seem to be a few years older than Michael Yager, who is said by Keith to have been born 29 Jun 1728.  This Elizabeth might have been born as late as 1724, under the assumption that Joseph Weaver might have lived until about then (no land in 1726).  Also, Joseph was not sued by Spotswood in the 1724 to 1725 time frame, which might indicate he, Jospeh, was not alive in 1724 or 1725.

We know almost nothing about Matthias Kerckler who proved his importation in 1736 in Orange County and then immediately assigned his head right to Peter Weaver.  (Incidentally, Peter Weaver, in using himself as a Head Right, overlooked the fact that he had been used as a Head Right by Spotswood already.)

Maybe others can add to this story or correct details if I am wrong about either the details or the thesis.
(12 Feb 03)



Nr. 1595:

We are fortunate to have a few scraps of paper with the Tithe Lists for Orange County in the late 1730s.  They are not complete for the entire county, but they do have a good representation of the Germanna Robinson River community.  I published selections in Beyond Germanna, vol. 2, and used the D. R. Carpenter map of 1940 to show that the compilers of the Tithe List seemed to wander over the country side in a systematic way.  Different people were responsible for recording different parts of the county.

In the list of compiler James Picket, he has one sub-sequence of names which, using my spelling except where noted otherwise, is:

  • Lawrence Crees,
  • Cortney Browel (using Picket's spelling; actually Conrad Broyles/Briles),
  • George Long,
  • John Hoffman, etc.

Then a little farther along in his list Picket gives:

  • Adam Yager,
  • Matthew Smith,
  • Henry Crowder (his spelling),
  • Christley Browel (again, his spelling),
  • John Harnsberger, and
  • Michael Smith.
In general, James Picket was a terrible speller.

In the list of John Mickell, which covered an area generally north of the Robinson River, we have this sequence:

  • George Sheible,
  • Conrad Slater,
  • Jacob Broil,
  • Zacharias Fleshman, and
  • Richard Burdyne.

Since the immigrant head of the Broyles family, Johannes Breyhel (John Broyles) had already died (will proved in 1734, new style), we have three Broyles sons, namely Cortney, Christley, and Jacob in the Tithe List.  We were expecting, based on the German records and the importation records, to have brothers Jacob and Conrad, and a sister Mary Catherine.  The additional of Christley was a surprise.  Apparently he was born here, which would seem to be possible since his mother was probably in her late 30s.

After 1739, there is no further record of Christley (which is probably a nick name for Christian).  As Steve Broyles has mentioned, John Broyles, the father, was the apparent owner of 400 acres of land.  This seems to have been divided this into four parts, which would correspond to Conrad, Jacob, Mary Catherine, and Christian.

It is Conrad who seems to be living close to the site that we have been talking about recently.  He remains in the community.  It is Christian who disappears.

The entire list of names from Orange County (but this not all of Orange County) can be read in Peggy Shomo Joyner's "Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys, Orange & Augusta Counties".  These names alone justify the price of the book.  There were other surprises such as two Lewis Fishers, two Theobald Crislers, and unidentified Conrad Pater (Slater?), George Tanner, and Henry Crowder.
(14 Feb 03)



Nr. 1596:

I thought we might look at the sponsors for another family which shows the degree to which parents reached to find a "relative".  The parents are Christoph Blankenbaker and Christina Finks.

By the child, they are:

  1. Maria (29 Sep 1754), sponsors Adam Barlow, Adam Wayland, and Jacob Blankenbaker.
  2. Catharina (28 Sep 1759), sponsors Adam Weyland, wife, Jacob Blankenbaker, Adam Barlow.
  3. Ephraim (29 Jun 1762), sponsors Adam Weyland, wife, Jacob Blankenbaker, Adam Barlow.
  4. Ludwig (21 Jan 1765), sponsors Adam Weyland, w. Elis.
  5. Margaretha (13 Nov 1769), sponsors Adam Weyland, Jacob Blankenbaker, Adam Barlow, Martin Christopher's wife.
  6. Sara (07 Nov 1772), sponsors Adam Weyland, Jacob Blankenb., Marg. Sch.
  7. Elisabetha (09 Jun 1775), sponsors Adam Weyland, Hanna Fischer, Jemimah B. . .
    (The following children are added per John Blankenbaker's next Note, Nr. 1597, and were not originally listed in this Note, Nr. 1596.  GWD, Webmaster.)
  8. Jonas (18 Jun 1767), sponsors Adam Wayland, wife Elis.
  9. Hannah (25 May 1778), sponsors Jacob Blankenbaker, Mary Wayland, and Mary Utz.

Christopher Blankenbaker's father and mother had three sons and no daughters.  One son, George, died in the 1740s.  Another son, John, is never to be found at church.  So Christopher had no brothers or sisters to draw upon.  Christina Fink came from a family that avoided the Lutheran Church.  She was actually being bold by attending herself.  (She had a sister who did not attend the baptism of her own children.)  So Christina had no brothers or sisters to draw upon.

Jacob Blankenbaker was a first cousin of Christopher.  He was willing, and he was used several times.  Christopher had other first cousins, several in fact.  The two that show up here are Elisabetha and Anna Barbara, who were daughters of Balthasar Blankenbaker, and lived on the next farm to Christopher.  How do they show up?  Elisabetha married Adam Wayland and he appears.  Two of the "lines" are ambiguous in that they say "Adam Weyland, wife", which could mean Adam and Elizabeth, or could mean Elizabeth alone.

In June of 1775, there was a new minister who did not know the names well.  He entered "Hanna Fischer" when she nearly always used the name "Anna Barbara Fischer".  So far, the sponsors have been chosen from cousins or the spouses of cousins.  Adam Barlow was a little more distant.  He married Mary Smith, the daughter of J. Michael Smith and Anna Magdalena Thomas, who was the daughter of Anna Maria Blankenbaker.  Martin Christopher's wife was a Wayland, the daughter of Adam.  There is one person who is not a relative and that appears to be Margaret Schwarbach, the minister's wife.  Jemimah was a first cousin, once removed.

So, even though Christopher had no brothers and sisters who would help, and Christina had no brothers and sisters who would help, they managed to find relatives to be sponsors.
(15 Feb 03)



Nr. 1597:

I apologize that I did not give all of the children of Christopher and Christina (Finks) Blankenbaker in the last note.

(I have added the two following children, Jonas and Hanna, to the list in the previous Note, Nr. 1596.  GWD, Webmaster.)

The omission of Jonas was an oversight error on my part.  He was born 18 Jun 1767, with sponsors Adam Wayland, wife Elis.  In the section of the Baptismal Register that I was using, Jonas occurred between Lewis (Ludwig) and Margaret (Margaretha), and I should have listed him by the guide lines I was using which emphasized this section of the Baptismal Register.

However, the daughter Hanna was born 25 May 1778 and this was recorded in a different section of the Register, which I had not particularly intended to use.  For completeness, I should have listed her too.  Hanna had sponsors Jacob Blankenbaker, Mary Wayland, and Mary Utz.  Mary Wayland may have been Adam Wayland's second wife, who was Mary Finks.  As such, she was a sister of the mother.  Mary Utz escapes me just now, unless this is the Mary Finks Wayland Utz who married Daniel Utz after Adam Wayland died.  In this case, the previous Mary Wayland was classified incorrectly.

All of these children except Hanna were recorded together on one page in the Baptismal Register.  Hanna was on a different page.  Why would an exception be made for one child?

About 1775, the Baptismal Register was reorganized and rewritten.  From a chronological sequence, or from scraps of paper, the data was organized by families who were still living in the neighborhood.  Some of the families were not yet complete, but with the coming of Jacob Franck as minister in 1775, the recording was changed to a chronological sequence.  Some of the later children were reentered in the family pages but generally they were not.  This is what happened to Hanna Blankenbaker.  She was entered in the time-ordered sequence and was never carried back to the family section.

There is a lot to be understood about the Baptismal Register and much of it can be deduced from the register itself.  The point that I was trying to emphasize here was how the sponsors were chosen.  In the case of Christopher and Christina (Finks) Blankenbaker, they were chosen from relatives, even though neither had brothers or sisters who were able or willing to serve.  I will give another set of parents and sponsors showing a classical case of choosing very close relatives.

(This assumes that I have time from digging out of the snow which has fallen on us.)
(17 Feb 03)



Nr. 1598:

The sponsors of the children of George Utz, Jr. and his wife Margaret Weaver form a classical picture that is almost too perfect.  It is the ideal which is not always achieved. For the first six children, the sponsors are:

  1. Rachel (15 Aug 1763):  Peter Weaver, the mother's brother; Barbara Weaver Carpenter, the mother's sister; and Elizabeth Utz Schwindel, the father's sister, who married Michael Schwindel.
  2. Johannes (14 Apr 1766):  Peter Weaver, the mother's brother; Michael Schwindel, the father's brother-in-law, who married Elizabeth Utz, the father's sister; and Barbara Weaver Carpenter, the mother's sister.
  3. Absalon (05 May 1768):  Peter Weaver, the mother's brother; Andreas Carpenter, who married the mother's sister, Barbara Weaver; and Catharina Weaver Gaar, the mother's sister.
  4. George (08 Nov 1770):  Peter Weaver, the mother's brother; Michael Utz, the father's brother; Elizabeth Finks Weaver, the father's sister-in-law, who married the mother's brother; and Elizabeth Utz Schwindel, the father's sister, who married Michael Schwindel.
  5. Hanna (20 Apr 1773):  Andreas Carpenter, who married Barbara Weaver, and hence was the mother's brother-in-law; and Hanna Weaver Schwindel, the mother's sister who married John Schwindel.
  6. Salamon (19 Jun 1775):  Peter Weaver, the mother's brother, after missing one, tries a come back; Adam Utz, the father's brother; and Hanna Weaver Schwindel was the sister of the mother.
Margaret, the mother, tended to choose brother and sisters who were approximately her age.  Peter seems to be two children older, Catherine was the next younger, and Hannah was the second next youngest.  There were two from her family outside this group.  The oldest member of the Weaver family, John, never was a sponsor for Margaret.  Sometimes this is helpful in ordering the children and put down some rough estimates of their births.

George Utz, Jr., was called Junior to distinguish him from his uncle.  His uncle had a son, George, who was called the Younger because he was younger than Junior.  George Utz, Jr., tended to favor his sister, Elizabeth and her husband, Michael Schwindel.  He had his brother Adam once.  Some of his siblings must have been reluctant to serve because we do not have a good representation from his family.  For one child (Absalom), he could not summon any of any siblings to serve.

Overall, the pattern was to choose from the siblings of the parents, with a sprinkling of in-laws.  The question had been raised in the past as to whether George's wife was a Weaver, but after studying this pattern there can be no question of the fact that Margaret Weaver married George Utz and not John Willheit.
(19 Feb 03)



Nr. 1599:

I return to Germany for more discussion of what it was like there when our ancestors were living there.  I have before me the book, "The Pastoral Years of Rev. Anthony Henckel, 1692-1717", by Ann Hinkle Gable.  The book has been very popular and is now in its third printing by the Picton Press.  The book, with its story, is especially appropriate for a variety of reasons:

  1. Rev. Anthony Henckel was the ancestor of several Germanna people.
  2. He lived very close to the area from where many of the Second Colony people came.
  3. He came in 1717 to Pennsylvania, and perhaps his motivations were similar to others who came in that year.

The book has nothing about what happened to him or his family after they arrived in America.  Its primary purpose is to examine what happened to him in Germany and to determine why he left Germany.  The author of the book was able to enlist the aid of many qualified helpers in the search for documents and in their interpretation.

Rev. Henckel lived in the area just to the southeast of Heidelberg, but not quite to the area from where many of the Second Colony people came.  If you have a detail map of Germany, look for Heidelberg and the curve of the Neckar River which flows from the south and then curves west and goes by Heidelberg.  Tucked in the area surrounded by the Neckar River is where Rev. Henckel worked.  (He owned a farm about ten miles from Heidelberg.)  Just to the south, and it is only a matter of a few miles, is Gemmingen and Schwaigern.  Wagonbach is not too far away.

One of the difficulties that Rev. Henckel lived under is the elaborate structure of jurisdictions, both political and ecumenical.  Politically he lived in the Palatinate under the Elector of Palatine.  By faith, he was a Lutheran.  The area was a mixture of Catholic, Reformed, and Lutheran.

He was born in 1668, though, in Darmstadt, Hesse, which was the subject of a few notes, to Georg Henckel, a teacher, and his wife Anna Eulalia Dentzer.  The father taught in Merenberg.  Both parents came from a "professional" background and wanted their son to have the advantage of an education.  There was a setback when Anthony's father died when Anthony was ten years old.  The mother moved to her hometown of Steinmerk (or Steinberg) near Giessen.

Anthony Jacob Henckel was able to enter Giessen University in 1688, when he was 20.

He finished the university at the end of four years and received a call to be the Pastor in Asweiler in the Palatinate.  For some reason, he did not follow through on this, but took the pastorate at Eschelbronn in the Palatinate, about ten miles southeast of Heidelberg.  The year was 1692 and he could hardly have picked a worse time to go there.
(20 Feb 03)



Nr. 1600:

The previous note ended with Rev. Jacob Henckel accepting a pastorate in 1692 at Eschelbronn, a few miles to the southeast of Heidelberg.  The situation was terrible for a Lutheran minister as Rev. Henckel was.  A bit of history will help to show this.

In 1521, the Barons introduced the Lutheran faith to the Kraichgau, and in 1545 the Elector Friedrich II took Protestant Communion.  The Peace of Augsburg in 1555 brought, "...he who rules determines the religion."  Then, four successive Electors brought Lutheran doctrine, then Reformed doctrine, then Lutheran doctrine again, and Reformed doctrine once again.  During the Thirty Years' War, the Palatinate was occupied by the Bavarian troops and no Protestant services were allowed.  After the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, Elector Karl Ludwig was Reformed, but he allowed all faiths.  The next Elector was also Reformed, but he too allowed all faiths.  A Catholic Elector, from 1685 to 1690, treated all faiths equally.  But the Elector Johann Wilhelm, from 1690 to 1716, was a Catholic who oppressed all Protestants.  This latter period was the approximate period of Rev. Henckel's service as a Lutheran pastor.

In 1674 and 1675, Louis XIV of France ordered his army to devastate the Palatinate.  The army was very thorough in doing this.  Villages were burned, clothing was taken, food was taken.  The sixteenth Elector, who came in 1680, arranged for a marriage of his daughter to the Duke of Orleans in an attempt to establish friendship with the French.  Unfortunately, the Elector, Karl Ludwig, died very soon and the throne went to Philip Wilhelm.  But troubles developed because Louis XIV claimed the Palatinate on the basis of the Duke of Orleans' marriage.  The French King sent in his army again, but this raised the ire of the northern countries, who formed an alliance to oust him.  Louis withdrew, but not before he had destroyed everything that he could find in the Palatinate.  Crops were plowed under, orchards were cut down, villages were burned.  No vineyards remained.  The towers of the Heidelberg Castle were blown up with gunpowder.  Then the whole town was burned down leaving only a couple of buildings.  (The year is now 1689.)  After the French left, the Catholic Elector tried to help all of his people, but he died before he accomplished anything.  His successor, Johann Wilhelm, was under the influence of the Jesuits, and he began a systematic oppression of the Protestant churches.  By the end of 1693 hundreds of Reformed churches and a number of Lutheran churches were in the hands of the Catholic orders, to say nothing of the parsonages and schoolhouses.  This is roughly the situation when Rev. Henckel started his ministry.

(A note.  The word “Elector” is used because the head of the Palatinate region was one of the people who voted for or “elected” the Emperor.  There were from seven to nine of these people throughout the Holy Roman Empire.)
(21 Feb 03)


(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 SIXTY-FOURTH set of Notes, Nr. 1576 through Nr. 1600.)


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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 1576 through 1600.

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