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

(See bottom of this page for Links to all Notes pages.)
This Page Contains Notes 1601 through 1625.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 65
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Nr. 1601:

This note marks the start of another set of Fifty, and another set of a Hundred, and perhaps another set of Sixteen Hundred.  Don't hold your breath waiting for the end of the second Sixteen Hundred.  At two hundred and fifty a year, it would take six years plus.  They will continue if my health holds up, and if there is material to write about.  For finding material, I draw heavily on written sources.  Also, I am motivated by your questions.  Unfortunately, I often do not have the answers to many of your questions.

I notice that many readers emphasize the GERMAN in Germanna.  Yes, things German are a part of this list but it is intended to be more responsive to the subject of a small number of Germans who lived on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia in the Eighteenth Century.  Though many of the questions put to the list focus on people outside this area, I, for one, do not feel that we are losing a resource by this sharing.

I am reminded that many of our people lived outside of Virginia, before and after the time of major interest to us.  Andreas Gaar lived briefly in Pennsylvania before deciding to move to Virginia.  On the surface, this seems like a strange move, and makes our study of history all the more interesting.  Another person who did the same is Theobald Christler.  In fact, unless your person of interest is known to have landed in Virginia (and only a minority of them did), then the most likely places where they entered the colonies are Philadelphia and Baltimore, if they didn't come through the Carolinas or Georgia.

There is so much to be learned.  People are digging in the archives and libraries and other depositories.  That includes here and abroad.  Andreas Mielke found a letter in Berlin which has a history of the Second Colony.  Others are digging in the Virginia archives, the Pennsylvania archives, and in the North Carolina depositories, to find more information to flesh out our knowledge.  Then there is the task of organizing the material so that it makes sense.  Isolated pieces often mean nothing, but a collection of items may have a meaning far beyond the apparent individual meanings.  The challenge is before us.

We can look on a lot that has been accomplished, but we have more to do:

This is a pathway for communication.  The use we make of it is for us to determine.  Are you at least communicating?
(22 Feb 03)



Nr. 1602:

We are with Rev. Henckel in the Palatinate just above the area from where most of the Second Colony came.  The political situation is that most of the area was in the possession of "Barons" whose boss was the Elector of the Palatinate.  The Barons had acquired the land hundreds of years before this time when they had fought in the service of the ruler, who had rewarded them with fiefs, which included land, forests, villages, and even the peasants who lived on the land.  Through marriage and purchase, the boundaries of the fiefs changed.  In general, the peasants owed the Barons labor and tithes.

Ownership of the forests was cloudy.  Through custom and usage, the peasants usually had the rights to forage animals in the forests and to procure some wood from there.  Typically, this ownership came to be represented through the villages and governments in the villages.  But again and again, conflict developed because of the confused status of the ownership.

The lines of authority were also confused in both civil and ecclesiastical matters.  At the top was the Emperor of all the German States, whose status hardly merited the title of Emperor.  There were hundreds of rulers of the smaller territories.  Some of the more important ones were designated Electors to choose the Emperor.  This was the position of the Palatinate Elector.  Under the larger rulers, there were Barons.  In some areas, these Barons were independent and reported directly to the Emperor.  (The Barons of Gemmingen and Schwaigern were in this category.)

There was a Lutheran church body which had jurisdiction in Palatinate and in Hesse.  Many times it was not clear whether the political leaders or the church leaders had the responsibility for the local churches.  And the political leaders were not always in agreement.

We have seen that the faith of the Palatinate changed several times with the rulers; however, at the local level, the Barons often did not agree with the Elector.  It was not the congregation who determined their own faith.  On the contrary, it was mixture of many elements.

When Johann Wilhelm became Elector in 1690, he began a systematic suppression of the Protestants.  In some areas, the Protestants were compelled to share or give up their churches, parsonages, and schoolhouses.  There was much opposition to these measures.  In 1698, it was declared that all of the Palatine churches would be used simultaneously by the three Confessions, Catholic, Reformed, and Lutheran.

In 1705, came a new order.  Five of every seven churches were to be Reformed, and two of every seven were to be Catholic.  The Lutherans got nothing.  So we see the struggle that Rev. Henckel was faced with.  The region was trying to recover from war, and the Lutheran church was trying to keep its presence alive.
(24 Feb 03)



Nr. 1603:

In 1692, fresh out of Giessen University and still in his 23rd year, Anthony Jacob Henckel became the pastor of the Lutheran Church in the village of Eschelbronn.  He was called to this village in the Palatinate by Baron Johann Anton von der Felz and his brother Herr Johann Philipp von der Felz.  These Barons ruled the life of the village, including the church.

Eschelbronn was an old village.  Though it claims to have been inhabited in Roman times, it takes its founding date, 789 A.D., from the date in the Lorsch Codex.  That document lists the town as “Ascenbrunnen in Creich gowe” (Eschelbronn in Kraichgau today).  The Thirty Years' War, and the invasions by the French in 1674 and in 1689-98, left the village in a very sad condition.  The population was rebuilt by returnees, and by immigrants from Switzerland, other parts of Germany, and Holland.  The area was still rebuilding when Henckel started as pastor.

He had left his homeland of Hesse, where the Lutheran Church was strong, and was starting where the Lutheran Church was weak.  Not only did the village have to rebuild, but the Church was weak and struggling against the Elector, who would have liked to see all Protestant Churches disappear.

Henckel was ordained in Eschelbronn, and left, in his own handwriting, a record of that event.  From the reproduced record, one can see that his handwriting was clear and strong and better than 99% of his fellow Germans.  Two months after his ordination, Henckel married his second cousin, Maria Elizabeth Dentzer, who was the daughter of a preacher.  So, presumably, she had some inkling of what was in store for her.  The wedding was performed by her father, who described the marriage, in full, as, "On April 25, Mr. Antonius Jacobus Henckel Pastor of Eschelbronn has been married."  This was the description by the bride's father.  (The father of Maria Elizabeth and the mother of Anthony Jacob were first cousins.)

Additions to the family came quickly.  Nine months and 23 days after the wedding, the first child, a son, was born.  Unfortunately the baby was weak and it died within three months.  The next child, Johanna Barbara, was strong (b. 1694), and she lived to come to America in 1717, though by that time she had her own family, including a son.  Johanna was named for the pastor in the village two away from Eschelbronn.  The second name, Barbara, was the name of that pastor's wife.  (This was the only time that a husband and wife served as godparents or sponsors for one of the Henckel's twelve children.)  This pastor, two villages over in Daudenzell, was a part of the Lutheran Church of Hesse, not of the Palatinate.

Life was not easy for the young Henckel couple.  The successor to Henckel in the church described the parsonage as being in a deplorable condition and almost unfit for human habitation.
(25 Feb 03)



Nr. 1604:

The German author of "1200 Years in Eschelbronn" said about the village pastors:

"Pastors lived in the poorest circumstances.  They were dependent on the noble patrons (Barons) who mostly managed to put their benefices into their own pockets.  The parishes were full of problems for the pastor's family."
Anthony Jacob got into trouble because he was willing to do manual work.  Some of the Magistrates and Barons thought this was unbecoming for a pastor.  But what was needed was labor to rebuild.  Anthony Jacob was accused of cutting trees in the forest for lumber.  The offense was not the taking of the wood; the crime, in some people's eyes, was the manual labor that he exerted.

Because the Lutheran Parish was so small, Anthony Jacob had little to do in the way of baptisms, marriages, and funerals.  To help support himself, Pfarrer Henckel bought a farm, perhaps as much as anything to grow some food for his own consumption.

An agricultural revolution was underway while Henckel was in Eschelbronn.  The emigrants brought in new ideas.  In particular, the Mennonites from Switzerland brought the idea of keeping their animals in the stalls.  They raised hay for animal food, which was better than browsing in the forest.  In the stalls, the manure was captured and distributed on the fields.  A historian said that the improvements in cattle raising, the improvement in the three-field system of agriculture, which had required one-third to be idle, and the introduction of the potato were the most noteworthy events in the Eighteenth Century.  In another effort to improve their living, the peasants started growing flax and working it into linen.  For a hundred years this was a supplemental income source.

There was a limited postal service in the 17th century, but Eschelbronn was not on the route.  One had to go to Sinsheim or Wiesenbach to get or to send mail.

Much of the life in the village centered on special events.  There were feast days and weddings to celebrate.  The church was very important and its bells sounded the beginning of the day and the end of the day as well as the beginning and end of life with baptisms and funerals.

We know little about the Barons of Eschelbronn who hired Henckel, and they sat in judgment on his performance.  They determined his pay.  One historian called them "tyrannical little barons".  The magistrate said that the baronial brothers and Henckel were not too happy with each other.
(26 Feb 03)



Nr. 1605:

Anthony Henckel started as pastor at Eschelbronn in 1692.  About two years later, he was asked by Baron Johann Melchoir von Vestenburg to also become the pastor of the church in Mönchzell, which was just over a mile from Eschelbronn.  The new church was a daughter church of the first one, and neither one was a heavy load.  Though the two churches were only a mile apart, the new church was a part of the church district of Hesse, the home state of Henckel.

In the new church, the work was light.  In about two years, there was one baptism, no marriages, and three deaths.  The more important thing is that a long-lasting friendship developed between the Baron and Henckel, though, after twenty years, bitterness replaced friendship.  The second son of the Henckels had the Baron as a godfather and took his name, Johann Melchior.  The ninth child of the Henckels was given the name of the Baroness.

In 1695, Henckel accepted a call by the Baron von Gemmingen (as in 'Gemmingen', where the Clores, Smiths, and Weavers came from), to the nearby church, Daudenzell, and its daughter church, Breitenbronn, .  It may have appealed more to the Henckels, because the church was under the jurisdiction of Hesse, not of the Palatinate.  (This new church was not far from Wagonbach, the home of the Utzes and Volcks.)  In addition, Baron von Gemmingen seemed more mature than the two brothers in Eschelbronn.  The Henckels stayed nineteen years.

The standard of living was probably better, though not high, in Daudenzell.  The Henckels did raise a large family there.  At the parsonage, the stone stable and the warehouse were still standing in the Twentieth Century.  The village was quite old and may have been a religious community of the Celts originally.  Over time, the church building evolved.  No one single date suffices to date it.  Perhaps parts from 1300 remain, with major revisions in 1783 and 1810.

We have very little information about the ministry of Henckel in Daudenzell, even though he spent 19 years there.  We do know that in this period he baptized 151 children, performed 22 marriages, and officiated at 51 burials.  As in his previous churches, Henckel probably helped rebuild the village after the French invasions in 1688 to 1697.

In 1703, a complaint was brought against Henckel by an anonymous person who wanted people to bring their complaints to him to be sure that no bitterness developed in the Church.  The writer even suggested that another minister serve them.  Another document, undated, in the archives, signed by “Schlosser”, cited an instance where it was believed that Henckel had erred in church procedure.
(27 Feb 03)



Nr. 1606:

The complaint signed by Schlosser said that Pastor Henckel had permitted a person to go to Holy Communion without doing penance, and that in this he erred.  The act of repentance should have taken place in the pastor’s lodging in the presence of the officers of the congregation and other male persons in the congregation (it was alleged).

Some time in 1714, Henckel left Daudenzell after nineteen years of service to the church there.  He returned to Mönchzell where he had been briefly before going to Daudenzell.  There were two reasons that he may have made this choice.  One is that he was a friend of the Baron von Festenburg there.  Second, he owned a small farm there.

Why did he leave Daudenzell?  Baron von Gemmingen was very blunt in saying that he dismissed Henckel for his insolence.  The Baron of Daudenzell wrote this to the Baron von Festenburg.  The Baron of Mönchzell had asked Baron de Bantz to check with the Knight Captain von Gemmingen of Heilbronn as to the type of man Pastor Henckel was while in his service.  The answer that came back through a third party was, “He was a frivolous man, unmindful of his honor.”  This was dated 28 Dec 1716, two years after Henckel had moved back to Mönchzell.

von Festenburg put pressure on von Gemmingen to write a letter himself, which von Gemmingen did on 4 Feb 1717.  von Gemmingen wrote:

“I herewith inform you although the peasants of Daudenzell are somewhat insolent, yet Mr. Henckel surpasses them far in insolence, which induced me to dismiss him from this service.  Hence I was not much pleased that my most honored Lord Baron Johann Melchoir of Mönchzell could make up his mind to accept immediately.”
Apparently Henckel and von Gemmingen had “words” and Henckel was dismissed.

While Henckel was pastor at Daudenzell, he also was pastor at a coupled church in the nearby village of Breitenbronn.  Earlier, the Barons of Landschaden von Steinach owned Breitenbronn and remained owners until the family died out in 1653.  The village became a vacant feudal estate and it fell to the Palatinate Elector.  The Elector was direct Lord of the Manor of Breitenbronn.  Thus, Henckel served two civil masters, the Baron von Gemmingen and the Elector.  Breitenbronn was considered a branch chapel of Daudenzell so the two churches were considered as one.  In 1581, an order had been given that the Breitenbronn grain tithe belonged one-half to the Landschaden family, and one-half to the Daudenzell pastor.  The small tithes were split also along the same lines.
(28 Feb 03)



Nr. 1607:

In the nineteen years that Henckel was the pastor at Daudenzell, and simultaneously at Breitenbronn, the situation was confused at times.  The Church in Daudenzell was under the authority of the Palatine Elector, and in Breitenbronn the Church was under the authority of the Lutheran Church of Hesse.  The two villages were about one mile apart.  Both were in the Palatinate.

At one period, while Henckel was the pastor at Breitenbronn, a conflict arose between the Lutheran Church, the Catholics in the village, and the Elector, on the question of the simultaneous use of the Church building by the Catholics and the Lutherans.  For two years, this was an intense struggle.  A few years earlier, the Catholics of Breitenbronn challenged the Lutherans on the exclusive use of the Church, and on the right of the pastor in Daudenzell to all of the income from the tithes of the Breitenbronn church.  Elector Philipp Wilhelm, a Catholic, made a careful study of the question and found that the Lutherans had been in charge of the Church from 1618 to 1671.  He refused to dispossess them.  In 1687, the Elector declared that the Breitenbronn Church and all of its revenues be restored to the Lutherans.

This was a decision that was made before Henckel came to Breitenbronn.  He had to refer to the decision again and again to prove that the Breitenbronn Lutherans were in their rights to the exclusive use of the Church and of its tithes.  Then in 1698, another Elector ruled that the three confessions should all have utilization rights of the Churches.  The administrator in charge of obtaining rights for the Catholics proposed to withhold the tithe for Breitenbronn.  Henckel wrote a letter to the administrator and pointed out that he had no authority.  He succeeded in preserving the rights of the Lutherans for nine years.

In 1708, the Catholic Commission got an order from the Chancery requiring the Church and tithes to be shared.  When the Catholics showed up for a Church service, Henckel was there with all of the congregation, including those from Daudenzell.  The administrator proposed to forcibly open the door, which had been bolted with double bolts, but Henckel and his wife sat down in front of the door with the remark that they would not move unless they were dragged away.

Henckel said if there was an order from the Elector (the civil head of Breitenbronn), or the Lutheran Consistory (the Church body located in Hesse), he would abide by it.  He insisted the Catholic Commission had no standing to seek the order.  Henckel said the Lutherans might take their case to the Diet in Regensburg.  The Catholics backed down for the time.  The Catholic Commission tried again later in the year with their own decree.

There were appeals to authority, or threats of appeal, on both sides.  Finally, the Catholics were instructed by the Catholic Commission to ask for the key and if they could not obtain it then they were to use an axe.
(01 Mar 03)



Nr. 1608:

The arguments between Henckel with his Lutheran congregations and the Catholics, especially as led by the Catholic Commission in Heidelberg, continued.  In February of 1709, the Baron von Gemmingen entered the picture again with a letter to the Elector.  von Gemmingen had no standing in Breitenbronn, as that village was a personal fief of the Elector and the Church there reported to the Lutheran Consistory in Hesse.  von Gemmingen used the legal arguments that Henckel had used and added that, for peace’s sake, action by the Elector was needed.

The Catholic administrator in this district heard of von Gemmingen’s letter and he rushed to send a four-page letter to the Superior Chancery at Heidelberg in which he put all of the blame on Henckel.  He blamed the Lutherans for locking the church and preventing the bells from ringing (even for a fire alarm).  Finally, an Electoral Order of Confirmation was issued which supported the rights of the Catholics to use the church also.  Emboldened, the Catholics forcibly broke into the church.  Henckel wrote a long letter to Baron von Gemmingen describing what the Catholics and done and insisted, still, that the Order was not valid, as it had not come from the Elector himself.  The Baron did not intercede and the Order was considered valid.  The Church was used simultaneously by the Catholics and the Lutherans; however, the Lutherans were able to keep the tithes, and they did not have to share these.  (After Henckel had left for America in 1717, there was an order requiring half of the tithes be given to the Catholic pastor.)

In the midst of the severe religious conflicts, the harsh winter of 1708-1709 struck.  All of this must have been very discouraging to the Henckels.

In 1705, there had been an order for the redistribution of the churches, with five of the seven to be assigned to the Reformed, and two of the seven to be assigned to the Catholics.  The Lutherans were to get nothing.  Two years later, though, the wholesale Church distribution was terminated and the battle was fought on the individual community level as has been recounted.

The Lutherans in the Palatinate were extremely hard pressed and resorted to appealing to their fellow Churches in other areas for help.

After twenty years in the ministry, the Henckel family still knew only poverty.  In 1714, came another blow.  Anthony Henckel lost his position at Daudenzell as the result of a decision by Baron von Gemmingen.  Henckel applied to his friend, Baron von Festenberg to be installed in the church at Mönchzell.  The parish members were dissatisfied with the minister they had.  von Festenberg took on Henckel, but the conditions of the service were not clear.
(03 Mar 03)



Nr. 1609:

In 1714, Henckel was dismissed from the parish in Daudenzell by Baron von Gemmingen.  Henckel applied to his friend Johann Melchoir von Festenburg for a position at Mönchzell and was accepted.  Two years later, the friendship had dissolved, and von Festenburg wrote to Prince Ernest Ludwig of Hesse:

“The Evangelical Lutheran pastor, Mr. Henckel, who had been dismissed already two years ago, by Baron von Gemmingen of Neckarzimmern, was appointed by me provisionally as pastor at Mönchzell, upon his own request, and out of commiseration for him, because he had no other place to go, however, without being called, presented to or installed in the parish.”
Apparently Henckel thought he had a permanent position, but von Festenburg said it was temporary.  Even worse for their friendship, Henckel began to sense that von Festenburg was not honest.  He was using the lands and tithes of the village for himself.  The villagers complained to Henckel that the land where the Church parsonage had stood was now a garden for the Baron.  And their complaints went on and on in this vein.

Henckel was in a bind, as he owed his friend some gratitude for being helpful, but at the same time he could see the dishonesty.  The Church and the pastor were being starved.

Henckel was helped by a call to the church at Neckargemünd, while keeping his job at Mönchzell.  Frau Henckel's brother and her sister died in 1714, and this involved the Henckels being away for about six weeks.  This upset the Baron.

Baron von Festenburg wrote to the Prince of Hesse that he had to relieve Henckel of his duties at Mönchzell because he was not fulfilling his duties.  The Baron brought in a theological student who was ordained, and Henckel attempted to upset this arrangement.  In the end, Henckel decided to report the actions of the Baron to Prince Ernst Ludwig of Hesse, who had jurisdiction of the church in Mönchzell.  The Baron learned of Henckel's plans and he, the Baron, rushed off a letter to the Prince (16 Nov 1716).  Henckel's letter covered a lot more ground than the Baron had anticipated and the Prince asked the Baron for a fuller response.

Seeing that he needed more ammunition, the Baron sought the opinions of as many other Barons who might know of Henckel's work.  In April of 1717, the Baron sent a packet of letters to the Prince.  One of the charges against Henckel was that he cut down trees in the forest and took them to the sawmill.  This was said to be inappropriate for a pastor.  While the exchange of letters was still going on, the Henckels left for Pennsylvania.  The Prince had, at first, accepted Baron von Festenburg's explanations, but five years later he acknowledged that the charges against Baron von Festenburg were true and attempted to correct the situation in Mönchzell.
(04 Mar 03)



Nr. 1610:

When Germanna ancestor Anthony Henckel left for Pennsylvania in 1717, he served in two parishes, Mönchzell and Neckargemünd.  Both were close to the area from where many Second Colony people came.  Neckargemünd lay along the Neckar River, about six miles upstream from Heidelberg.  The Lutherans there had a real problem in that they were poor and had no church or parish house.  Their first service since 1635 was held in 1698.  They were entitled to use the Reformed Church under the simultaneous usage law, which allowed the building to be used the Reformed people at 7 a.m., by the Catholics at 9 a.m., and by the Lutherans at Noon.  Generally, the Lutherans could not afford a pastor, so they shared pastors with adjoining towns.  In 1705, Neckargemünd had 113 members of the 473 in the local association.  In that year, the shared use of the Church building ended and the Lutherans had to meet in taverns or in homes.

In 1714 the Lutherans in Neckargemünd secured the services of Henckel, who was also serving the Church in Mönchzell.  Henckel had his own small farm, which he and his wife had purchased a score of years earlier and maintained.

The Neckargemünd Lutherans undertook to build their own Church just before Henckel arrived.  They purchased some land and made contracts with masons and carpenters.  They purchased stones, lime, sand, iron, wood, and straw.  They paid carpenters, slaters, masons, smiths, cabinetmakers, a locksmith, and tinsmiths.  There was even beer for the workers.  These records were found in the attic of the Parish House in 1961.

The family of Henckel, in 1717, consisted of himself and his wife, and eight children from 20 years down to 1 year.  Neckargemünd had had a Lutheran school for sixteen years; however, they had no schoolhouse, nor parsonage, so school was held in private homes.  This was the situation for several decades until a house and barn was acquired.  The barn became the schoolhouse.

Conflict with the Catholics continued.  When the Lutherans were building their Church, the Catholic priest demanded that the window of the Lutheran Church be walled up because he could not stand the noise of the Lutherans.  The Lutherans refused and the priest got an order from the Superior Chancery requiring the window to be closed.  Another complaint, from an unknown source, was made against a sermon that Henckel had preached.  The complainer had taken written notes, and Henckel had to deliver up his sermon.  He was absolved, but the sermon was not returned.  The Lutheran Consistory complained to the government about the treatment that Lutherans were receiving in the Palatinate.

We have seen many reasons that the Henckel family might have had for emigrating.  What was the major reason?
(05 Mar 03)



Nr. 1611:

The Henckel family members, with the aid of researchers in Germany and here in America, found a document in the Karlsruhe archives which basically gives the reason the Henckel family left Germany.

“Whereas the bearer of this, the honorable and learned Herr Anthon Jacob Henckel, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran congregation in the little town of Necker-Gemünd and the neighboring places in the County of Heidelberg, now in his third year as pastor there, provided the Evangelical Lutheran Consistory of the Palatinate appropriate notice, that he would cordially like to wish to remain longer with this greatly deprived Evangelical congregation and to provide for them with comfort, help and support from God's word according to his office; however since the highly troubled condition of the Evangelical Lutheran congregations in the Electoral Palatinate so determine that due to the lack of official financial support for so many years, the aforesaid congregations have monumental debts and therefore cannot any longer support their pastor in necessity, and whereas this said congregation with the small villages which belong to it, will remain similarly unable to do, and the above named pastor thus found himself having to depart from there and to seek his fortune with his wife and many small children in Pennsylvania, with the request that a trustworthy attestation of this conduct be given into his hand; and we must then truly attest that the above stipulations are true . . . .”
This document was signed 1 July 1717.  (Other documents indicate that the Henckels left before the end of June.)  Whether the Henckels had the benefit of this document is unknown.

It was, for the Henckels, a matter of poverty and the inability to support a family on the meager wages that the congregation could pay his family.  The educational system was also poor.

We do not know how he learned about Pennsylvania.  There was, in 1717, a minor mania to immigrate.  After the exodus of so many thousands in 1709, the British had sent word that they wanted no more 'poor Palatines', i.e., Germans.  From 1710 to 1716 there was hardly any immigration to America.  Some came at the invitation of Germans who were already in America, but the numbers were small.  Then in 1717, about one thousand Germans decided to go to America.  Three ship loads, including the Henckels, went to Philadelphia.  One ship load, late in the season, took about eighty Germans to Virginia.

Cathi Frost's ancestors (the Clores from Gemmingen) came in 1717.  So did her husband's ancestor, Anthony Henckel, but on a different ship.  Probably they both had the same reason, the desire for a better life than they were experiencing in Germany.
(06 Mar 03)



Nr. 1612:

Jim Messersmith writes that his ancestor, Johann Henrich Spitzer, was baptized 19 Nov 1713 in Neckargemünd, and asks if this was done by Rev. Henckel.  Close, Jim, but you miss by about ten months.  Rev. Henckel did not start at Neckargemünd until Sept of 1714.  The pastor who baptized the baby Hans was Rev. Johann Adam Gutheil.  In June of 1714 he left, saying there was too much activity for him.

The Henckels did make it to America where I have heard that Rev. Henckel started a (Lutheran) Church in Germantown, Pennsylvania.  One of his grandsons was Johann Justus Henkel, who married Maria Magdalena Eschmann.  This last family found its way to North Carolina.

In 1727, George Teter (American spelling) found his way to Philadelphia from Schwaigern.  That he came relatively soon to the Robinson River Valley may have been due to the influence of other people there from Schwaigern.  He bought 200 acres of land in 1735/36 under the name Jeter (which is how I believe is the way he is to be found in the tithe lists).  Though he was relatively young, he died in 1743, and his wife Margaret Teter was appointed the administrator of his estate.  The picture grows a bit fuzzy, but the Teter family went to North Carolina.  There, there were four marriages between the Henkel and Teter families:

  • George Teter married Mary Ann Margaret Henkel;
  • Paul Teter married Rebecca Henkel;
  • Mary Barbara Teter married Jacob Henkel;
  • Philip Teter married Susanna Henkel.
All of these Henkel children were from Johann Justus Henkel and Maria Magdalena Eschman.

Did the Henkel family know the Teter (Dieter) family in Germany?  It does not seem to be the case.  Each family probably had heard of the places where the other family was.  They would have felt like they were meeting friends.

Perhaps a more telling factor is that each family seems to have been better educated than average.  The George Teter estate included books.  And his wife Maria Margaretha signed her own name in the estate administration.  In Germany, the German Henckel family, on both sides, were professional and were supporters of education.  In fact, the lack of good schools may have been a contributing factor to their decision to emigrate.

An article on the Teter family by Frank Cochran appeared in volume 9 of Beyond Germanna.
(07 Mar 03)



Nr. 1613:

William R. Yeager contacted me about ten years ago in his search for a place to hang his James Yager.  It seemed surely that he was of Madison County, Virginia, but he could not find the exact place in the Yager genealogy to put the man.  The oldest record that he had for his James was a marriage license in Richmond County, Virginia, showing a James Yager married Sarah Woollard, daughter of Samuel and Mary Ann Woollard.  This marriage licence of 2 Feb 1796 did not require any consent by his parents and her mother said she was of a legal age.  The thought is that James was born prior to 2 Feb 1775.  He was described on the licence as James Yager of Madison Co., Virginia.

Prior to the marriage, Madison County had existed for about four years.  In the court records for 23 May 1793, a James Yager undertook to be the bondsman for William Crow, in the suit of Henry Lewis against William Crow.  The marriage of William Crow of Culpeper County and Ann Woollard is recorded in Richmond County with a bond on 17 Feb 1789.  So William Crow and James Yager seemed to have a common interest in the area which became Madison County, and in the Woollard family.

In the Madison Court records up the year 1803, a James Yager appeared in the records at least fifteen different times as juror, witness, plaintiff, or defendant.  No middle initial was ever used.  An Orange Co. deed conveys, in 1803, 200 acres to James Yager from Aaron and Mary Bledsoe, his wife.  By a deed of 22 May 1811, James and Sarah Yager convey the same property to Paul Verdier.  During that time, James was an apparent resident of Orange Co., and he appears in the records there six times as juror, plaintiff, or defendant.

Then a James Yager appears in the Scott Co., KY, tax rolls in 1815 through 1819.  In 1821 he is in the Harrison Co. tax roll and in the 1820 census for Harrison Co., Sarah Yager and Stephen Austin are recorded as the administrators of James' estate in 1821 in Harrison Co.  He left no will.

There were nine children, whose birth years ranged from 1796 to 1820.  The fourth of these children was LeRoy Cole, born 1803.  A grandson of this LeRoy Yager, Leslie Yager, lived with LeRoy when he was a youth.  Leslie wrote a family history in 1939 when he was 88.  He stated that he was unable to find the parents of James Yager.  He did record many proven dates related to descendants of James.

Leslie Yager did mention that his grandfather, LeRoy, referred to Uncles Elijah and Cornelius.  LeRoy even named a daughter Cornelia.  In Madison Co., VA, the family of Nicholas Yager and Susanna Wilhoite included the sons, Elijah and Cornelius.  There is no James recorded for this family though.  (From Volume 6 of Beyond Germanna, to be continued)
(08 Mar 03)



Nr. 1614:

(Continued from Note Nr. 1613.)
Descendants of James Yager referred to Uncles Elijah and Cornelius.  There is one family in the Germanna colonies who had sons Elijah and Cornelius.  This was the family of Nicholas Yager and his wife Susanna Willheit.  The age of children in this family would be just about right for James Yager and his descendants.  Certainly a lot of time was spent on a study of this family for a solution of the problem.

Nicholas wrote his will on 12 Sep 1779, and it was probated on 20 Aug 1781.  It named seven son and three daughters.  Because of the time difference between the writing and the probation of the will, it is a valid question whether another child could have arrived then.  Some of the ten children were relatively young so that this was not an impossibility.  But, because most of the children were young, guardians had to be appointed.  Again, there was no James on the list of children for whom a guardian was appointed.

William Yeager, who had done most of the research on the question of James, tried a different tack.  In Kentucky, two Houston brothers married two Yager sisters on the same day of 19 Mar 1818.  With several active members in genealogy research, William Yeager asked if they had been successful in finding James Yager.  But they were no help.

In spite of the evidence which said that he should be looking in the Culpeper County area of Virginia, the search there was unsuccessful.  Mr. Yeager enlisted the aid of two researchers, Shirley Minor and Barbara Vines Little, to help him.  They were able to find a few things which proved to be very material for the solution.

The published material which Mr. Yeager had been using included A. L. Keith's "Nicholas Yager and Descendants" in the William and Mary Quarterly.  This was used by Claude L. Yowell in Germanna Record Ten.  Counting the immigrant Nicholas as the first generation, it would seem that James Yager should be of the fourth generation, to judge by the ages.  (James was married in 1796.)  In the very numerous fourth generation, there is only one James Yager.

Yowell wrote that this James married Malinda Yager and they had one child, Henry, who was born in 1810.  Already, the dates are not encouraging for this James to be the missing James.  Not long after the birth of Henry, John G. Brown administered the estate of James Yager, and John became also the guardian of Henry Berry Yager.  Again, this shows we are not talking about the James of William Yeager.

When one examines the Yowell story though, it is seen that the marriage of James Yager and Malinda Yager involves Malinda as the niece of James Yager for she was the daughter of James' sister Jemima.  Also, the ages of James and Malinda are not a good match.  So the first step was to try and correct the story on the one known James Yager.
(10 Mar 03)



Nr. 1615:

As this story is unfolding, there was a James Yager in Kentucky who had strong ties to the Yagers of the Robinson River Valley in Virginia.  This Kentucky 'Jim' would seem to be of the fourth generation of Yagers (counting the immigrant Nicholas as the first generation).  There was one James Yager in the fourth generation in the family history developed by Keith and Yowell.  We concluded the last note with a comment that the story for this James Yager could not be correct.  Also, this James died, so he could not be the James Yager of Kentucky.

There was a will which apparently was not considered.  The will of Francis Gibbs was written 13 Apr 1802, and probated 28 Jun 1810 in Madison County.  It names grandchildren James, Lucy, and Joel Yager, whose mother was Mary or Molly Gibbs, the daughter of Francis Gibbs.  Molly had married Elisha Yager.  This gives us information about a James Yager who parents are Elisha Yager and Mary Gibbs.

A son-in-law of Francis Gibbs, John G. Brown, became the administrator of the estate of James Yager, who was Brown's nephew.  He also became the guardian of the orphan Henry B. Yager.  Keith and Yowell had stated that Henry Yager was the son of James, the son of Adam, Jr.  Based on the Gibbs' will and the administration of John Brown, this Henry Yager was the son of James, the son of Elisha Yager.

There is an Orange Co. indenture of 20 Oct 1806 between James, Jr., son of Elisha, Nathaniel Yager, and James Yager who signed as James, Sr.  Elisha, Nathaniel, and James were brothers.  The designation of Jr. to James here was to show that he was younger than Elisha's brother James.  Taken together, the attributes which had been ascribed to James, the son of Adam Yager, Jr., should be placed with James, the son of Elisha.  Then it is possible to say that James (the son of Adam Yager, Jr.) married Sarah Wollard.

Mr. Yeager who was doing the research concludes that the individual 37 in Keith should be the James Yager of Kentucky.  Keith also indicated that James, the son of Elisha, was a son of Elisha's second wife, Elizabeth.  This is not correct as James was the son of Elisha's first wife, Mary Gibbs.

Within Germanna Record Ten, individual 27 should be the James Yager who married Sarah Woollard.  The narration given there should be the James Yager of Yowell's number 95, the James who is the son of Elisha.

(I hope that I have this correct.  Perhaps the Yager researchers can tell us whether I did or not.)
(11 Mar 03)



Nr. 1616:

(John's discussion of Hesse starts up again here.  He stopped the discussion in Note Nr. 1588, dated 06 February 2003.  The discussion was started in Note Nr. 1556, dated 30 December 2002.  GWD, WebMaster)

I return to Hesse, where we looked at some parts of a social history earlier.  In the Eighteenth Century, overpopulation in Hesse, as in other parts of Germany, led to the decision to immigrate to foreign locales.  This overpopulation had caused the farms to be splintered into uneconomic units, which could no longer support the inhabitants.  Two of the main target areas for the economic refugees were Russia and America, though there was an immigration to southeastern Europe also.

It has been estimated that 200,000 German farmers immigrated to foreign parts in the decade starting in 1756.  Sometimes, entire towns or villages were decimated by the exodus of people.  In 1766, Catherine (The Great) of Russia invited people to come to her lands.  Many people accepted this invitation and established German communities around the Black Sea.  Many of these communities maintained their German culture and language until the Twentieth Century when Stalin broke up the groups.  To help establish this immigration, the Russian Crown maintained an immigration office in Büdingen in Hesse.  It would collect groups of 60 to 100 immigrants, give them travel money, and send them, via Lübeck, to St. Petersburg.  From here they could go by wagons or waterways to the Volga.  Hesse contributed many of the people, perhaps a majority of the Germans, to this eastward movement.  (These German settlers in Russia became known as the "Volga Germans".)

The Austrians recaptured lands that the Turks had held.  They were desirous of obtaining Germanic people to settle in this region.  Many of these emigrants came from around Stuttgart (Swabia), but there were Hessians also.  Another southeastern destination area was Hungary.  As early as 1723, there is a documented case of a villager in Hesse going to Hungary.

Quite early, America became a recognized destination area.  The first of the Hessians were involved in founding Germantown in Pennsylvania.  The letters they wrote home were very encouraging and helpful to friends and relatives who were considered the move also.  America became such a popular spot that it was described as “the American fever”.  Many Hessians were involved in the 1709 immigration.  Another group came in the 1740s as Moravians.

Local governments did not support immigration in general and erected various roadblocks to hinder it.  They saw population loss in terms of reduced tax revenue, army recruitment, and productivity.  The threat of fines and the loss of estates were used as incentives to prevent unauthorized departures.  Authorized departures were often accompanied by special taxes.
(Continued in Note Nr. 1617.)
(12 Mar 03)



Nr. 1617:

(Discussion of Hesse, continued from Note Nr. 1616.)

I have emphasized, in the discussion of conditions in Hesse in the Eighteenth Century, the villages which were the homes of the farmers.  Let me spend some time on the "towns", or those places which were larger.  The first town is Marburg.

In the Seventeenth Century (the 1600s), Marburg was devastated in The Thirty Years' War.  By the middle of the Eighteenth Century, the town still had not recovered its pre-1618 standard of living.  In 1756, the Seven Years' War broke out.  This was a setback for the town and its inhabitants.  Many of the citizens were on the point of starvation on a regular basis.  The guilds were now much weaker and spent most of their efforts on keeping members out to reduce competition.  To join a guild, one needed to marry the daughter of a current guildsman.  The Landgrave tried to boost economic progress by holding fairs and markets.

Numerous postal routes and roads had been established, but the conditions of the roads often made them impassable.  In wet weather, fourteen horses might be needed to pull one coach carrying six people.  In addition to the fare, the drivers expected bribes or tips for "drink money".

In 1726, the Landgrave mandated compulsory school attendance.  By the treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the schools were to be Lutheran in outlook, even though the state religion was now Reformed.  The Landgrave refused to pay for Lutheran schools.  Lutheran schools had to raise their own money locally.

A fire ordnance of 1678 remained in force throughout the century.  It required all carpenters, roofers, and chimney sweeps to rush with ladders and axes to any fire.  The town watchman and constabularies were to report the fire immediately, as well as to prevent any threat of looting.  Everyone was expected to turn out to fight the fire and guildsmen were to bring buckets for the bucket brigades.  Failure to respond could result in a fine.  Many towns banned straw (thatch) roofs in town.  Smoking was prohibited near straw, including the straw used for beds in inns and homes.  Marburg suffered especially from the lack of a good water supply.

The old university in Marburg had switched from Reformed to Lutheran, and back again in The Thirty Years' War.  This disruption reduced the student body.  The appointments of famous teachers did increase the number of students.  In 1727, the university celebrated its 200th anniversary with a banquet in the large town hall.  Five hundred students made merry at this feast.  All students had to check their swords and daggers with the fencing master when they came in.  It was hoped the evening would end peacefully.
(Continued in Note Nr. 1618.)
(13 Mar 03)



Nr. 1618:

(Discussion of Hesse, continued from Note Nr. 1617.)

To keep the peace, the 500 students checked their swords and daggers with the fencing master when they attended the 200th anniversary of the Marburg University.  Still, the windows, glasses, tables, and benches wound up being smashed in a thousand pieces by the inebriated crowd.

The Seven Years' War was the defining and disastrous feature of life in Marburg in the Eighteenth Century.  Marburg changed hands between the combatants some fifteen times, its protecting (?) castle seven times.  The advent of modern artillery had by now greatly reduced the military value of fortifications.  More emphasis was placed on controlling the major roads upon which the armies depended for supplies and communications.  Marburg's central location on the main north-south highway between Kassel and Frankfurt made it a prime target of military forces.

The town was seized by a 25,000-man French army in mid-summer 1757.  Troops were quartered in the town, which made life miserable for the inhabitants.  The French demanded high payments in money and goods from the Germans to support their army.  Food had to supplied to the French, who even wanted furniture and bedding from the residents.  Dysentery spread among the French, which killed more than a thousand of them.  The hospitals were overloaded and the Germans were told to supply more beds.

In the next winter the Germans were told to supply 2,000 cords of firewood for use by the occupation troops.  Then the Marburgers had to turn out to improve the local fortifications against an expected attack by the Prussians.  The French were driven out, but returned by the next summer.  The demands made upon the locals were so great that not enough food for local men and beasts was available.  The farmers refused to bring their grain in for sale because they feared the draft animals would be confiscated.

This went on from 1757 until 1762, when the French left.  After the war, it was realized that walls and castles afforded no protection.  To reduce the attraction of Marburg to invading armies, the walls and outlying fortifications were torn down, which helped to end the strategic value of Marburg.  After the war the streets and roads needed repaving, but there was no money for this.

In 1788, Wilhelm von Humboldt wrote of his travels and time spent in Marburg.  He referred to it as the ugliest and least commodious town imaginable.  The houses were old and unattractive, the streets dirty and too steep to travel easily.  When he went to the balls and dances, he even thought the women were ugly.  He did like the beautiful view from the castle.  And he gave better than average marks to the university students, who at least removed their hats in class.  But he did not think they should have brought their big dogs with them to school.  And they should not talk and laugh during the lectures.
(Continued in Note Nr. 1619.
(14 Mar 03)



Nr. 1619:

(Discussion of Hesse, continued from Note Nr. 1618.)

The town of Marburg in Hesse had more than 6,000 inhabitants in 1618, at the start of the Thirty Years' War.  When the Seven Years' War broke out in 1757, Marburg had only 5,100 citizens.  In a century and a half, the population had declined by about twenty percent.  Poverty was very much the way of life for the majority of the people.  Even in the guilds, where the workers would normally be rated as above average citizens, the members suffered from poverty.  About half of the population kept a small farm with livestock as a means of getting by.  The towns of Hesse in general were described as walled-in villages.

New forms of production in early factory-style concerns began to loosen the grip of the guilds.  Another positive factor on production was the introduction of Huguenots into Hessian life.  The increased production brought about a fall in prices, which did not help the producers.  In the last quarter of the Eighteenth Century, many new tradesmen came to Marburg.  Cabinet makers grew from 15 to 26, tanners from 32 to 58, bakers from 94 to 119, shoemakers from 121 to 169, but the butchers fell from 78 to 69, as did the small shopkeepers from 103 to 93.  Hauling and transportation were important services, and 32 names were in the business in 1776.

A large increase occurred in the pottery-making industry.  From 1750 to 1785, their numbers increased from 5 to 25.  They were using a new process for coating the wares, which included bowls, pots, beer steins, plates, coffee cups, and similar table items.  Much of the production was exported to areas adjacent to Hesse, using the rivers as much as possible.  The markets continued to grow even after 1800, as wares were shipped to the northern seaports.

Another well known local industry was beer brewing.  It collapsed in the difficult economic times as a cheaper, poorer-quality product became common.  A government ordinance attempted to regulate the quality.  Wine was not common.  With the poor beer, brandy consumption soared.  In 1776, the 5,000 Marburgers were purchasing the output of 27 brandy making operations (227 kegs per year).  Or stated differently, every 20 Marburgers were drinking a keg of brandy per year, when half of the population was less than ten years old.  The lower classes were greatly sapped by drunkenness.

(During the period of about 7 March to 12 March, Rootsweb was having trouble with the server hosting the GERMANNA_COLONIES Mailing List.  As a result, many subscribers to the List did not receive my daily Notes, specifically Nrs. 1608 through 1616.  I will attempt to send a few of the missing notes each day.  I have already re-transmitted three of the notes.  If they look familiar to some of you, you were the lucky ones who received them already; however, a number of people missed them.  Unless I am sick or away, I usually try to have notes six days a week.)
(Continued in Note Nr. 1620.
(15 Mar 03)



Nr. 1620:

(Discussion of Hesse, continued from Note Nr. 1619.)

We have been talking about the town of Marburg, which had a population of about 5,000 people.  The town was administered by the mayor (Bürgermeister) and council, which consisted of a mixture of learned and partly unschooled men.  The highest paid official in the town was the Town Scribe, or Secretary, who made 71 Taler per year.  This was more than the mayor earned, as his pay was only 55 Taler per year.

The town raised this money with a variety of taxes.  Altogether, in the year 1776, the town income came to 4099 Taler, which was derived in the following ways:

  • Wine Ship Sales 521 Taler;
  • Beer Sales 653 Taler;
  • Real Property Tax 143 Taler;
  • Citizen’s Tax 369 Taler;
  • Road Tax 105 Taler;
  • Signage Tax 146 Taler;
  • Livestock Tax 751 Taler;
  • Mortgages on City's Properties 272 Taler;
  • Immigrants and Citizen’s Fees 141 Taler;
  • Income from the Town Forest 135 Taler;
  • Inheritance Tax 84 Taler;
  • Town Road Tolls 50 Taler;
  • Interest Earned on Loaned Funds 46 Taler;
  • Capital Repayments 51 Taler;
  • Other Income 32 Taler;
  • Retained Earnings of Previous Years 620 Taler.

Very often towns owned some classes of shops.  For example, the town might own the bakery, which was let on contract to a baker.  The wine and beer sales in Marburg were through town-owned properties, and the operators either had to pay a fixed annual fee or a percentage of their sales.  Either way, they were significant sources of income.  If you were not born in Marburg and wished to become a citizen, you had to pay a fee.

The town kept it books according to slightly different rules than we use today.  We are not inclined to say that the surplus carried over from previous years is an element of income in this year.

Of this total income, 876 Taler had to be paid out in interest on debts.  The city was heavily indebted.  By 1782, the town’s regular income had shrunk to 3,335 Taler, and some of the properties owned by the town had to be sold to raise money.  The properties sold included three wine shops, which had previously been mortgaged.

There was a decline in church attendance, especially by the more educated classes, who were beset by the rationalist thinking of that age.  They regarded church as the province of the ignorant and superstitious.  The main church in town, dedicated to St. Elizabeth, still held many of the Catholic observances from pre-reformation times, even though the church was now a Lutheran Church.  The Catholics had been without a church, but were allowed the use of the chapel in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

The once uniform clothing style used by nearly all diverged into separate styles for the Catholics and the Evangelicals (i.e., Protestants).  As is often typical, the styles evolved first in town, and then spread to the hinterlands.
(Continued in Note Nr. 1621.
(17 Mar 03)



Nr. 1621:

(Discussion of Hesse, continued from Note Nr. 1620.)

I move from Marburg to Kassel, which was larger than Marburg by about 12,000 to 5,000.  The year initially is 1723.  Among the 12,000 inhabitants there were 773 government officials, a high percentage.  There were slightly more than 1,400 artisans.  Considering half of the population were females and more than half were children, this left not more than 3,000 working men.  The artisans were about half of this.  The town was ruled by a Mayor and Council.  The Landgraves influenced the choice of the officials.  As in Marburg, the town income was not large and consisted of many elements, such as the public wine shop, fees for weighing goods at the public markets, citizenship fees, sale of goods grown on town lands, rent from buildings, etc.  There was an array of regularly collected petty taxes and fees, such a beverage tax, excise tax, business licenses, and a wig tax.  There were twenty-four significant guilds in town.

There was a standing order to bar the gates to the town at specified hours.  Thus, one had the feeling of living in a fortress.  The hours of closure included the service times at church.

In 1723, the city launched a new feature.  More than one hundred street lamps were installed in the "New City". These were fired with rape seed oil.  (Incidentally, rape is still grown extensively in Germany, and makes very colorful fields in May with the bright yellow blossoms.  Today, the oil is used for “Canola Oil”, not for street lamps.)  The new street lamps required a new tax to pay for them.

In 1730, the first regular newspaper was published.  The name of it was the "Kassel Police and Commercial Newspaper".  References to several of the inns in town show names such as "Ox Head", "The Carp", and the "Thirsty Stag".  The Lutherans were gaining ground, and by 1738 a new Lutheran Church building had been erected.  Just prior to this, in 1732, a group of 240 Salzburg Lutheran refugees from Catholic Austria were settled in the town.

William VIII, who became Landgrave in 1730, was a great patron of the arts.  He had works by many of the famous painters.  These works were later stolen by Napoleon's forces.  Some have been restored to Kassel, and the museum today is recognized for the quality of its collection.  Of course, the average citizen in the Eighteenth Century never saw these works.  Kassel, like Marburg, suffered badly during the Seven Years' War.

Landgrave Frederick II succeeded his father in 1760.  Building on the work of his father and grandfather, he wanted a residence worthy of a Prince of stature.  This extended to improving the appearance of Kassel.  Buildings were torn down, streets were widening and straightened.  The walls around the town were torn down.
(Continued in Note Nr. 1622.
(18 Mar 03)



Nr. 1622:

(Discussion of Hesse, continued from Note Nr. 1621.)

Landgrave Frederick II came to the throne in Hesse-Kassel in 1760.  Actually, he did not get to sit down on the throne until 1763, because war kept him out of the Capital.  He worked hard at improving the appearance of Kassel.  Many of the smaller streets were called "-gasse" which implied a short, alley-like street.  He renamed these "-strasse" and changed the names so that they seemed more appropriate for a residential street.  The work of improving the paving and the width of the streets also continued.  Even the gates into the town were spruced up with new names.

Re-paving was undertaken on a wide scale in this period.  Stone sidewalks were built for the convenience of pedestrians and street drainage and cleaning were improved.  Animals could no longer be fed or kept on public streets.  In 1775, the driving of herds of cows, pigs, and sheep on public streets was also prohibited.  Too many farmers still lived and pursued their livelihoods in and around the town for this regulation to stick, however.  Frederick had to relent and rescind it in the face of widespread protests.  To keep the streets somewhat clean of manure, community barns and stalls were set up on several roads leading into town.

Frederick took Paris as the model in various reform efforts.  Rows of ugly, old-style houses were pulled down to make way for more modern buildings, especially in the inner city, and near the Landgrave's palace.  The need for construction artisans was so great that immigration of craftsmen was required.  Carpenters, roofers, and masons came from far and wide to work in Kassel.  A remarkable transformation of the appearance of Kassel took place, until by 1780 the Kassel police commission was claiming that Paris was no cleaner than Kassel.

While Frederick was on the throne, French was the language at the court.  Frederick wanted Kassel to become a crossroads between the French culture and German culture.

All of this was very expensive.  Frederick financed a lot of it by money earned from renting out soldiers, especially to Britain in the War of Independence.  For his own pocket, he set up a lottery.  This did so well that an Italian lottery director was able to embezzle 70,000 Taler.  This lottery was ended when Frederick's son assumed the throne.

Frederick did found a 400 bed hospital just outside the town gates to serve the poor.  He also founded the orphans' and foundlings' homes.  He sanctioned merchant fairs and livestock markets.  Some of his industrial enterprises were failures.

His son William IX came to power in 1785, with a set of convictions different from his father.  William wanted to cut costs, end frivolous aspects of life at court, and remove the influences of the hated French.  The state menagerie was sold, opera and ballet were curtailed, and the court orchestra dispersed.  Kassel became less of an attraction for visitors while Frederick established schools for poor children.  But William did work hard at improving the palace along English lines, not French lines.
(To be Continued.)
(19 Mar 03)

(As of 19 March 2003, John has written 23 Notes relating to the History of Hesse.  These writings are scattered and are not contiguous.  If you are interested in collecting them all together, here are the numbers of the other Notes he has written so far about Hesse [they are also clickable links]:  Note Nr. 1556Note Nr. 1557Note Nr. 1558Note Nr. 1559Note Nr. 1560Note Nr. 1568Note Nr. 1569Note Nr. 1572Note Nr. 1579Note Nr. 1580Note Nr. 1582Note Nr. 1584Note Nr. 1585Note Nr. 1586Note Nr. 1587Note Nr. 1588Note Nr. 1616Note Nr. 1617Note Nr. 1618Note Nr. 1619Note Nr. 1620Note Nr. 1621.  GWD, WebMaster)



Nr. 1623:

At the end of February, the March issue of Beyond Germanna was mailed to subscribers.  The lead article was by Heinz Prinz, a resident of Cologne (Köln) and a Trustee of the Germanna Foundation.  Mr. Prinz discussed the state of the Siegerland at the time of the first Germanna emigration.  Many people might be surprised to know that the economic and political conditions there were not the best then.  Unemployment was severe.  Prince William Hyazinth had beheaded one of his subjects without a trial.  (The man who was beheaded was Friedrich Flender, an ancestor of Ernst Flender who made the Germanna Foundation a reality.)

The Matthias House family has several records in the Hebron Church Registers.  Using these, I came up with the conclusion that Matthias House, the patriarch of the family, was married three times.  The second, and previously unsuspected, wife was Margaret Zimmerman, who was the mother of at least two of his children.

One of the families involved in the analysis of the House family was that of Joseph Holtzclaw and his wife Elizabeth Zimmerman.  They too have several records in the church books.  They, with some civil records, were used for a discussion of the family.  (Joseph Holtzclaw was one of the two sons of the 1714 immigrant, Jacob Holtzclaw, who moved down to the Robinson River Valley.)

Andreas Mielke translated two of the documents that Zollickoffer carried with him in his fund raising efforts in Europe.  Though the appeal was largely motivated by the Reformed Germanna people, Zollickoffer was able to get a recommendation from a Lutheran pastor in London for his solicitations.

For a short period of time about 1781, the Lutheran church in the Robinson River Valley (now called Hebron) had a preacher by the name of J. Michael Schmidt.  I looked for evidence that this might have been the J. Michael Schmidt that had lived in the Valley since 1725.  I concluded that it was the same man.  Not everyone agrees with me but you can decide after reading the evidence.

Some House researchers believe that Matthias House married first Margretha Jäckler.  This was based on a marriage record in Philadelphia.  I looked for the record and concluded that, though it does exist, the time element is not correct.  I do not believe there is any evidence now known as to his first wife’s maiden name.

Some photographs of Siegen were included and another page was devoted to the villages of the George Utz family in Bavaria.  Many members of the family still live there today.
(20 Mar 03)



Nr. 1624:

I was just rereading a few pages in Henry Z. Jones, Jr.'s, book "More Palatine Families".  This was published in 1991, so it has aged a bit.  However, "Hank" has some good advice in it and we might review a few of the points.

Hank Jones' 1st Rule.  Study the Neighbors.

Hardly anyone came alone from Germany in the Eighteenth Century.  Even if they did come alone, they were probably joined in a few years by others from the same village.  Once here, they often lived together and intermarried perhaps to the second and third generation.

If we want to find out about one family, we have to study all of the families in the community.  On our first approach to a genealogy problem, we may think a family is isolated.  But that is seldom the case.  Taking the first twenty names at a particular Communion Service in the Lutheran church in the Robinson River Valley (Hebron), it might appear that there were some relationships present just because a few names were repeated.  An in-depth study shows that ten of these twenty people were descended from the same woman!  Only two of the twenty were not related to at least one other person in the group of twenty.

I found the wife of Peter Fleshman, the immigrant, because relatives tended to associate, even unto the second and third generations.  In this case, the association was with whom one chose to sit at church.  Peter Fleshman and his wife were both dead by this time, but the associations continued into the succeeding generations.

Sometimes I am asked how to find where a person came from in Germany.  My recommendation is to make a list of all the associations and see which ones are the strongest.  Marriage is one association.  The neighbors are another.  Who witnessed the will?  Who witnessed the land transactions?  Who gave bond?  Who inventoried the property?  Who carried the chains?  After one has this list, the next question to ask is whether the origins are known for any of the people.  Then the first villages to search would be the ones of these people.

Don't forget to look on the ships' lists for a grouping of the same names.  This doesn't tell the origins, but it helps to confirm whom to look for.

We are fortunate that the origins of so many of the Germanna colonists have been found.  As I have looked through the records in some of these villages, I am struck by how many names seem familiar to me.  I did not find any of the unknowns, but it was a suggestion that one might want to explore more in these neighborhoods.
(Hank Jones' Rules are continued in the next Note, Nr. 1625.)
(21 Mar 03)



Nr. 1625:

(Hank Jones' Rules continued from preceding Note, Nr. 1624.)
(From "More Palatine Families", by Hank Jones)

Hank Jones' 2nd Rule.  Study the Sponsors.

Now the sponsors can be considered a special type of neighbor, so this rule is emphasizing the first rule, which was Study the Neighbors (i.e., the Associations).

The rule is important because the sponsors generally come from a small set of people, namely, relatives of the parents of the child to be baptized or christened.  The rule that I had formulated once was the sponsors were most likely to be siblings of the parents or cousins of the parents.  Not only would brothers and sisters and cousins be likely, but the ones that were related by married were as apt to be chosen.  A. L. Keith put it this way, "One coming into the family by marriage was quite promptly placed on the same basis as those related by blood."

Generally, the sponsors would be the same age as the parents.  There are a few instances where parents, or children of the parents, are used as sponsors but these cases are few in number.  I had deduced these rules based on the observed patterns at the German Lutheran church in the Robinson River Valley.  When I discussed these rules with the Lutheran pastor in the Dietenhofen Lutheran church in Germany, he said they were the same rules he liked to encourage the parents there to use today.  The rationale is that such closely-related sponsors will be more responsible for the spiritual welfare of the child if something should happen to the parents.

There is such a gold mine of information in studying the sponsors.  I am currently engaged in a project to identify the relationship between the parents and the sponsors for all of the baptisms at the "Hebron" Lutheran church.  I have done enough to know that the sponsors generally do follow the rules that I outlined above.  My biggest problem is that I do not know much about some of the families who are mentioned there.  For example, there is one mention of a Trumbo there.  Someone was able to assist me there.  (I may be asking here for information about some other people.)

Here is a case that I have wondered about for some time.  Matthew Smith came to church in 1717 with a wife Catherine.  In Virginia, a son Matthew, Jr., was born who married Mary ____.  When I look at the baptisms of the children of George Cook, I see Matthew and Mary Smith as sponsors on three occasions and they have no obvious relationship to George or his wife Maria Sara Reiner.  The Reiner family is well known from the Schwaigern records and Matthew Smith and wife Mary are not to be found in the Reiner history.  So it suggests we should concentrate on the Cook relationship.  In the civil records, there is nothing there which would confirm or deny the existence of another Cook, namely Mary.

Probably, Mary Smith should be assigned as a sister to George Cook.  That would account for Mary being chosen once as a sponsor and Matthew being chosen twice.
(Hank Jones' Rules are continued in the next Note,
Nr. 1626, Page 66.)
(22 Mar 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-FIFTH set of Notes, Nr. 1601 through Nr. 1625.)

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 700 subscribers and there are bound to be users here who can help you.  If you are interested in subscribing to this 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 1601 through 1625.

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