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This is the SEVENTY-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 1851 through 1875.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 75

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Nr. 1851:

Though, at the xx51st Note, I usually comment on the purpose of the Notes, I have discussed recently the notes in relationship to other publications and sources of information.  Rather, in this note I thought that I would comment on how information is to be distributed in this electronic age.

Adobe Systems, Inc., some time ago, saw that the ability to distribute information was a crucial problem.  This meant that one had to have the ability to input information from a variety of sources and to distribute it by some means that all users of computers could read.  They developed what they have called the Portable Document Format abbreviated PDF.  To read records written in this format, a special program, which they call the Reader, is required.  To make the PDF format popular, they give away this Reader program.  So far, they claim to have given away more than 500 million copies of the Reader.  They sell (for a significant price) the program that generates the PDF programs.

There are different varieties of the Reader.  There is one program for IBM PCs (i.e., what we generally call PCs).  There is another program for MacIntosh computers.  The full Reader program for PCs is 12 million bytes.  The full Reader program for MacIntosh computers is 16 million bytes.  (Whether they have Readers for Unix and Linux is unknown to me.)  Using the Reader that is appropriate for the computer that it resides on, it should be possible to take a common set of input data and to display it.

Over the course of time, the Reader programs have evolved as new features have been added.  Thus, we went from Reader 1 to Reader 2 and to the present Reader 6.  Each of these appears in different forms for different types of computers.

Some of the people with MacIntosh computers had trouble reading the Beyond Germanna CD that was prepared to Adobe's specification by their creator program.  I am wondering if the users have the correct reader because Adobe is advertising that with the correct program any document prepared by them can be read.  If one person has a modern MacIntosh with the MacIntosh Reader 6 program, I will be pleased to send them the CD to test.  I would like to get to the root of the difficulty (there may be none, but some questions exist).

The types of documents that Adobe undertakes to convert to the PDF are a challenge.  They will take printed input; the output of electronic programs such as Word or even Excel; or the material which appears on the Internet.  There is a variety of media and format and rules, and they claim to be able to prepare a document that can be read and searched by anyone.  We will talk a little more about how they appear to do this.
(18 Mar 04)



Nr. 1852:

Adobe Systems set a fierce task for themselves with the PDF format.  They want to take almost any kind of input and produce both visible copy for humans and machine-readable copy for computers so the computers could do a search.  When I produced the Beyond Germanna CD in PDF format, I had some of the issues in print only (those produced on that IBM Selectric typewriter) and some of them in computer code.  The only thing that I could do with the old typed copy was to scan it.  This produces the image and this is what is displayed on the monitor as the output of the PDF format.  How is the search made?  The image is processed as optical character recognition input and a set of words is produced.  These words are searched.

One problem that arises is that the optical character recognition they are using does not recognize umlauts, those three German vowels with the two dots over them.  They come through the OCR process sometimes as ff for ü.  Since it is this OCR output which is searched, the PDF format cannot search on German umlauts.  For example, no searching can be done on Häger.  One can search for Haeger or for Hager, two spellings that often occur in the same articles with Häger.

When you think some about it, in this process there must be two documents or pages for every scanned page.  The visible page is the scanned page that has been touched up a bit.  Behind that, and not visible, is the OCR output used for searching.  The visible image is touched up by making the characters look more like the standard fonts.  If you are using a font that is not standard, then that font can be embedded in the document and used to improve the looks of the scanned image.  The scanned image does show the umlauts.

Some of my older work was done with WordPerfect 5, 6, 9, and 11.  I no longer even have the programs for some of these.  If I put the data for even WordPerfect 9 into the WordPerfect 11 program, it does not come out the same as it did originally.  The net result is that words end up on different pages which is undesirable.  I tried to reedit the material to produce the original but that was very time consuming.  In the end, I scanned 917 pages of material.

If you have written some material recently, say in Word for Windows, you can convert this automatically to the PDF format.  In this case there is only one layer.  The visible layer on the screen can also be used for searching.  This whole process produces the best result and is easy to do.  On my CD, the last three pages (918, 919, and 920) are produced this way.  With these three pages there is a direct conversion without scanning.  All of the other pages were scanned.

Adobe Systems produces Standard 6, the program used to make the PDF files.  (It also produces the Photoshop programs.)  The experience of my wife and myself is that they are masters of not telling the customer anything about how to do something.  Their instructions usually leave one hanging.  Very frustrating.
(19 Mar 04)



Nr. 1853:

This is a continuation of the research in Beyond Germanna on the First Colony people to further answer a question put to the list last week.  Below are the articles that have appeared for the Rector family.  It is true that perhaps more has appeared for the Rector family than for any family in any of the colonies.  It is frightening that after many of years of research there were so many gaps to be filled.  What is it like in your family?

  • p.   61.  "The Wives of John Rector", by John Gott.  John Rector, son of the immigrant, John Jacob Rector, was found to have had two wives.  The second wife was probably the mother of most of his children.
  • p. 194.  "John Rector", by James F. McJohn.  There were two branches of the Rector family, and B.C. Holtzclaw thought the heads were uncle and nephew.  Mr. McJohn points out this cannot be inferred from the records in the Siegen area.
  • p. 206.  "Lucinda Rector", by James F. McJohn.  Lucinda Rector was assigned by B.C. Holtzclaw to either Moses or William Rector, but she actually was the daughter of Joel Rector.
  • p. 287.  "Fauquier's Arkansas Connection", by John Toler and John K. Gott.  The ancestry of several early Arkansas governors includes a Rector.
  • p. 353.  "The Wives of John Rector", by John Alcock.  More work of an analysis nature on the wives of John Rector.
  • p.374. "Another Word on John Rector (1711-1773)", by John Alcock.  A lawsuit involving land shows the slow process of legal remedy.
  • p. 431.  "How Many John Rectors?", by Barbara Vines Little.  Ms. Little finds that one John Rector was really two different John Rectors.
  • p. 488.  "The Sons of Harmon Rector", by John Alcock.  There were unplaced Rectors and an uncertainty about how many sons Harmon Rector had.  Mr. Alcock presents the evidence there were only three sons, and names them.
  • p. 504.  "Uriah and Maximillian Rector", by Tommie Brittain.  Uriah and Maximillian were two unplaced Rectors, whom Ms. Brittain shows were probably brothers.
  • p. 505.  "The Father of Uriah Rector", by John Alcock.  The research of Mr. Alcock finds the father of Uriah.
  • p. 667.  "The First Wife of Bennett Rector", by Brenda J. Thomas.  Previously not recognized.
  • p. 679.  "Cumberland Rector", by Evelyn Rector Schmidt.  Another "lost" Rector.
  • p. 687.  "James Rector", by Jenell Rector Cremans.
  • p. 777.  "George Rector", by Barbara Rector Hill.  Ms. Hill, after 30 years of research, found the parents and children of George Rector.
[Tomorrow, I will have to answer the call to jury duty which may result in my being dismissed early or becoming involved for a significant number of hours.]
(20 Mar 04)



Nr. 1854:

[I did not get called for jury duty today.]

There are many misconceptions about why the First Colony immigrants left the Nassau-Siegen area.  Willis Kemper wrote that they (the First Colony) were not a part of the large emigration of 1709.  While it was true that they did not leave in 1709, they were a continuation of the emigration that did occur in 1709.  In Beyond Germanna, on page 36, evidence is presented to show that this is a more correct story for the First Colony.  It was based on Hank Z. Jones’ book, The Palatine Families of New York 1710.

The names given below, who are heads of families, are spelled as taken from Jones so they might be more easily found there.  The spelling in other records may vary.

The villages mentioned are located with respect to Siegen:

Oberfischbach, 5 mi. W;
Netphen, 4 mi. NE;
Wilnsdorf, 5 mi. SE;
Zeppenfeld, 7 mi. S;
Salchendorf, 6 mi. S;
Oberholzklau, 6 mi . NW;
Anzhausen, 5 mi. E.

Emigrants from the Siegen area in 1709 and immigrants to New York in 1710 include:

  • Jacob Bähr of Oberfischbach.  When he was baptized 17 Nov 1678, his sponsor was Jacob Cuntz at Oberfischbach.
  • Peter Giesler of Oberfischbach.  Within his family there are mentions of Peter and Johann Fischbach, and of Oberholzklau.  Peter Giesler married Anna Lucia, d/o Hermann Hoffman.
  • Johann Friderich Häger, b. in Netphen as s/o Johann Henrich Häger.
  • Johann Henrich Häger of Anzhausen (see Maria Hagerin in Jones).  (A cousin of the previous)
  • Catharina Heyl of Wilnsdorf.
  • Hermann Hoffman of Oberfischbach.
  • Johann Eberhard Jung  (Jones: "The association of names on lists suggests this man may have been a Siegen family".)
  • Henrich Ohrendorff of Oberfischbach.
  • Henrich Schramm of Wilnsdorf.
  • Hieronimus Weller of Zeppenfeld.  There are mentions of the family at Oberfischbach.  A sponsor of Weller's sister was Agnes Holtzklau at Salchendorf.  Hieronimus Weller married Anna Julian, d/o Jacob Cuntz.
  • Johannes Zeller who married, at Siegen, Anna Catharina Herber.

This is not the complete set of evidence, but it is sufficient to show that emigration commenced in 1709, and that the 1713 emigration was a continuation.  There was also a similar set of economic reasons between the two departures.
(22 Mar 04)



Nr. 1855:

In the last note I presented the argument that the 1713 emigration was a continuation of the emigration which had begun in 1709.  I gave the names of several people and towns to show that the people in 1713 would have been well acquainted with the people in the 1709 emigration.  In addition to the names that I gave, there were 107 people who emigrated from the Nassau-Dillenburg region in 1709, and several families from Burbach.  Dillenburg is about 15 miles southeast of Siegen, and Burbach is about 10 miles south of Siegen.  All together, Hank Jones recognized about 200 people who went from the Siegen area to New York.

Besides the people who went to New York, there were Germans who went to Ireland (about as many as went to New York), some who were distributed throughout England, some who went to North Carolina, and even some who went to Bermuda.  Jones made no attempt to classify these people by origin.

Reading the lists of names, especially the fifth list from Rotterdam going to London (I believe this was the list), one sees many names of many people who would be familiar to anyone who has studied the families in the Siegen area.  In fact, one would see a name which is usually associated with the 1713 emigration.  (The Häger name occurs in both emigrations but this is not the name that I speak of.)

The church records of some of these people establish they were friends and relatives of the 1713 group.

Did they have similar reasons for going?  The article by Heinz Prinz in Beyond Germanna, on page 855, just about a year ago, states:

"At the time of the emigration of the Germanna families from the Siegerland in the Eighteenth Century, the region that we know as modern-day Germany was not a unified nation, but was many small territories which were governed by princes, counts, and dukes.  In contrast to France and Great Britain which were ruled by strong monarchs, Germany was not unified and had no centralized government.  The Thirty Years' War, which pitted the Catholic and Protestant principalities against each other, had destroyed many areas in Germany fifty years earlier and the hard living conditions created by this conflict were still to be seen in the Siegerland."

Mr. Prinz went on to say that there was an especially bad situation in Siegen where two princes both used the city as their seat.  On occasion there was armed conflict, but perhaps even worse was the refusal of the Catholic Prince to allow wood from his region to be used to make charcoal which was needed in the Protestant region.  This limited the mines and smelters and processing plants because of the lack of charcoal.  So both in 1709 and 1713, the Siegen area was economically depressed.

Beyond Germanna was fortunate to have the comments of Heinz Prinz a year ago, as he has died since that time.  He had written similar comments for the Germanna Foundation newsletter but his comments were so important that I asked him to submit his ideas to Beyond Germanna which he did.  (Herr Prinz was a native of Germany and a Trustee of the Germanna Foundation.)
(24 Mar 04)



Nr. 1856:

[I apologize for interrupting one thread to report on another thread.]

Christopher Zimmerman in Sulzfeld, when having a child baptized, asked Ludwig Fischer, "a citizen of Tiefenbach", to be a sponsor.  Since Ludwig Fischer is a good Germanna name, I picked up on this.  My problem was that a few miles south of Sulzfeld there is a Diefenbach, and a few miles north of Sulzfeld there is Tiefenbach.  I have to assume that either of these places could be the village to which reference was made.

I now believe that the correct reading in the record is Tiefenbach.  I have received the church records (microfilm) for this Catholic Church, the only game in town.  The priests wrote in Latin letters, which made the search easier, and, furthermore, someone provided an index of names.  It did not take long to see that hardly any Fischers were in town, at least, any that went to the Catholic Church.  Nor were there any Zimmermans to speak of.  There were interesting names in town, including many Debolts, perhaps Kercher, Kabber, Mayer, Motz, Frey, Ziegler, and Walk (or Walck).  There was one Zimmerman in a marriage.  There was one Fischer as a sponsor.

On 5 May 1666, Christian Walck and wife Maria had Matthias baptized with sponsors Matthias Sieber and Elisabetha Fischer.  (Since the names are in Latin, I have translated them into German.)

Most of all, I sat up when I read that Johannes Martin Walk was baptized on 20 Dec 1728.  His parents were Johann Georg Walck and Catherine.  (The presence or absence of a "c" is sometimes guess work.)

Other than encountering a few Germanna names, there was nothing very encouraging in the search for Ludwig Fischer.

Today, I went down to Diefenbach via microfilm.  There were not so many Germanna names there but there were quite a few Fischers; however, none of them seem to have the given name Ludwig.  I will be getting the Ortssippenbuch for Diefenbach as I have ordered it and the author has sent it along.  He has already told me there are no Ludwigs.

Again, there were interesting items in the records which go back to the middle of the Sixteenth Century, quite far for the typical church.  Besides the name Fischer, there were Langs and Schwindels.  The people who feel the Schwindels in the Robinson River Valley community were English had perhaps better get out their worksheets and check their proof of this.
(25 Mar 04)



Nr. 1857:

There were interesting items in the Diefenbach Church Register.  In the baptismal report for Eva Magdalena, daughter of Caspar Fischer and his wife Eva Magdalena, there was a note appended which said, "Left for Pennsylvania."  The dates were very hard to fathom as the years were written at the very edge where the page had blackened, but I believe the baptism may have occurred about 1741.  The departure for Pennsylvania could have occurred at any time after this.  I no longer have a list of immigrants such as Rupp or Strassburger so I could not check whether they made it to Pennsylvania.  Other families are listed as going to Pennsylvania also.

If ever it turns out that my Fishers are from this village, than I am probably related to the Faber family.  In several Fisher baptisms, one of the sponsors would be named Faber.  In this church, they usually had three sponsors, and to judge by the duplication of the father's surname, the sponsors were probably related.  A given name in some of the Fischer families was Bur(c)khardt which reminded me of Bernhardt Fisher in Virginia.

This church also adopted the practice of keeping Communion Lists, the names of people who partook of communion.  They did not want to waste any expensive paper doing this so they wrote very small and used techniques such as spread sheets to record the information.  Many times they did not list the wives separately, but just appended a letter or two to the husband's name.  When a W was added, I judged they were saying widow or widower.

I mentioned yesterday the name Schwindel.  I will not attempt to work that family from the Church Register.  I have the Ortssippenbuch coming from Germany for Diefenbach, and I would expect it to be worked out there.

One family was named Blichenstirster or something similar to this.  I would be tempted to simplify a name like this if I had it.

Right now, my theory is that Ludwig Fisher lived in Tiefenbach, the village I reported on in the last note.  It could be that he was Protestant and went to a church in a nearby village.  There was an instance of this or a similar case with the Blankenbakers.  They lived in Catholic Neuenbuerg but went to church in Oberoewisheim which was within walking distance and had a Protestant Church.
(26 Mar 04)



Nr. 1858:

A couple of notes ago, I wrote about the emigration of the First Colony being a continuation of the departure of many Germans in 1709.  I presented names which Hank Jones had traced back from New York to the Siegen area.  In this note, I will present some more names of people who departed in 1709 which suggests that even more people left in 1709 from the Siegen area than Jones had named.  These names come from the sixth party to leave Rotterdam for London.  The Dutch made a list of the names.  Unfortunately, no surviving copy of the arrivals at London is known.

Remember that these names are written by the Dutch using their phonetics.

Some of the names are:

  • Johann Henrig Arendorff (Ohrendorf), with wife and child
  • Anonius Lueck, single person
  • Sneider (Schneider), with wife and six children
  • Prints (Prinz)
  • Kolb
  • Fischbäg (Fischbach)
  • Hoffman, with wife and two children
  • Johann Bast (Sebastian?) Fischbag
  • Weischgerterin (Weissgerber)
and there was another name which was a real surprise:
  • Peter Heidee, with wife and child.  The Dutch actually wrote this name with an umlauted “y” in place of the “i” but I didn’t think that it would come through too well.  (I can generate it as ÿ so you can test whether it comes through ok.  Heÿdee)  This substitution is to be understood as equivalent.  Changing the double “ee” into the typical single “e” of German, the name that we have is Peter Heide.

I believe that Peter Heide left the Siegen area in 1709.  After that his trail becomes murky and subject to debate.  I believe it to be very probable that this is the Peter Heite, son of Jacob Heite of Rehbach, who married Maria Liessbeth, daughter of Johann Henrich Freudenberg of Ferndorf.  This wedding took place in 1707.  By 1709, one child as called for in the list would be natural.

Names surrounding Peter Heide on the Rotterdam list are Johann Deischkirch, Mattis Jossen, Hans Henrig Becker, Jacob Niesch, and Hans Tiedberger.  Again these are Dutch spellings.
(27 Mar 04)



Nr. 1859:

Generally following along the theme of reports on the First Colony in Beyond Germanna, we do have an indication of when Rev. Heinrich Haeger decided to go to America.  Andreas Mielke found a letter that the son, Johann Friedrich Haeger, wrote to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel who was sponsoring him in New York.  The translation of his letter (by Rev. Wm. J. Hinke) appeared in the Ecclesiastical Records of New York, p. 1960ff.

The letter was written 12 July 1712 and refers to letters of May and August of 1711 received by Johann Friedrich Haeger.  The son refers to letters from his parents which must have been written before the end of 1711 to have reached the son in New York.  Extracts from it read:

"My parents press me hard from hence.  I am not able to assist them, it being heavier living the country, for such as must buy everything, than in the city, as I spoke about it also with Col. Heathcock.  I recommend to you my parents in case they should come to England, that some provision may be made for them."

The implication of his remarks is that his parents had reached the decision by the end of 1711 to go to America, if possible.  It wasn't clear how they were going to finance the trip and the son says that he cannot help them.

It is interesting to see how letters were delivered in that time.  J. F. Haeger enclosed a letter to his father in the one he was writing to the SPG.  It was to be directed first to Mr. John Behagel, near the Bank, at Amsterdam; and then to his brother Isaak Behagel, at Frankfort (they were former students of the father).  As an alternative, the letter could be forwarded to Mr. Langhen at Saxenhausen, near Frankfort, who could send it further to Mr. Nesser at Siegen, who would deliver it without fail to his father.

Johann Justus Albrecht had appeared on the Siegen scene about 1710 to have tools made and to recruit workmen.  He appeared in Siegen about the same time that Alexander Spotswood was en route to Virginia to assume his duties as Governor.  The recruiting in Siegen could not have been at the instigation of Spotswood as Spotswood had no reason to need any workmen.

Whether Rev. Henry Haeger's desire to go to America was encouraged by Albrecht's appearance is not known.  At first the father and mother at Oberfischbach hoped their son in New York would be able to assist them (this in 1711).  They express this hope in their letter to the son in New York.  For more information, see Beyond Germanna, pages 797 to 800, either print or CD media.
(28 Mar 04)



Nr. 1860:

I went back to Sulzfeld to see if I could obtain more information of interest there.  This is where I found the Baptismal Record for a child of Christoph Zimmermann, where one of the sponsors was Ludwig Fischer Bürger zu Tiefenbach.  I have not found Ludwig in Tiefenbach yet, but I thought there might be more clues in Sulzfeld, perhaps to other people.

Christoph Zimmermann, who emigrated to America, had three children born in Sulzfeld.  By his first wife, Dorothea Rottle (not everyone agrees on the spelling of this surname), they had Johannes, baptized in April of 1711.  (This child became John Zimmerman in the Robinson River Valley, where he married Ursula Blankenbaker.)  The three sponsors of Johannes were:  Johannes Dersche/Dirsch, Johannes Schuster, and Anna Barbara Fischer zu Tiefenbach.  It does not say so, but no doubt Anna Barbara and Ludwig had some connection, most probably as husband and wife, but perhaps as brother and sister.

The same parents (Christoph Zimmerman and Dorothea Rottle) had a still-born child, born 26 April 1713, who appears in the Baptismal Register, but without any other indication that the still-born child was baptized.

Dorothea died and Christoph Zimmermann married Anna Elisabetha Albrecht.  One child, Johann Martin, was born in Sulzfeld on 15 June 1715.  There is no further mention of the boy, so perhaps he died en route to America.  The sponsors of Johann Martin were:  Hans Martin Schegler, Ludwig Fischer (as referred to above), and Maria Barbara Dersche.

The appearance twice of the name Dersche and of the name Fischer (who had come about six miles from Tiefenbach) would indicate to me that these families were close to Christoph Zimmermann (and not to his wives).

As you can see, I am able to read the names of the sponsors without unusual difficulty.  My general impression is that the sponsors were probably relatives.  It would seem to be rewarding to study the records in Sulzfeld which, in comparison to some others, are not as difficult to read.  There are several families who came to Virginia, the Zimmermans, Kablers, Uhls (Yowells) and Lang (Long).  Maybe more came that we might find with study.

Just as I was typing this, I noticed one name that I hadn’t seen before.  Georg Frid. Dolp (or perhaps Delp), married.  It was not a true Marriage Record, though it was included in the Marriage Register.  It did include the word “informator”.  Georg Frid. Dolp was “von Härdlingen”.  I could find no village just immediately of this name, so the spelling is probably off.  The other possibility is that it is part of his name.  We had instances such as this with the von Gemmingens.
(31 Mar 04)



Nr. 1861:

I thought I would expand on the theme of why I am especially interested in Ludwig Fisher.  Back in volume 2 of Beyond Germanna, I did a study of who built the "Hebron" Church.  For this purpose, I used the Orange County tithe lists, which seemed to give a good report on the Germans living in the Robinson River Valley.  There were a number of surprises, but the one that caught my attention vividly was that two of the tax collectors in the same year found a Ludwig Fisher living in their precinct.  [See page 93 of Beyond Germanna.]

James Pickett found a Lodowick Fisher living south of the Robinson River.  John Mickell found a Ludwick Fisher living north of the Robinson River.  In the latter case, Ludwig Fisher was living on the farm of Balthasar Blankenbaker, his father-in-law.  Since the will of Balthasar left land to his daughter or son-in-law where they were living, it was natural to expect Ludwig on Baltz' place.  What should be made of these enumerations of Ludwig?

I remembered that Margaret James Squire had mentioned that Ludwig Fischer was a sponsor for one of the children of Christoph Zimmermann in Sulzfeld.  [Page 116] This particular Ludwig could not be the Ludwig who married Anna Barbara Blankenbaker, since he would be too old, about a generation.  Therefore, I formed the idea that perhaps the original Ludwig was the father of the Ludwig who married Anna Barbara Blankenbaker.  Perhaps both of them came to Virginia because of their knowledge of Christopher Zimmerman.  Here the two Ludwig Fishers became merged into one and it was not recognized that there were actually two.

When I first broached this idea, James Brown, objected to it.  He was more inclined to think that a simple mistake had been made.  It has come to my attention, from the writings of A. L. Keith, that Jacob Broyles on 29 JAN 1743 was surety for [the] estate of Ludwig Fisher, in regard to a negro attached to Isaac Smith.  [Page 149] Since the Ludwig who married Anna Barbara Blankenbaker died about 1773, I took this as evidence that there was a father who had died.  This still did not persuade James Brown.  He wrote an article debunking my theory (he did so in a good-natured way).  [Page 301]

Meanwhile, the question has never been settled.  Unfortunately, James Brown is gone now.  I continue to search in Germany hoping to find the origins of Ludwig Fischer and perchance to settle the question of whether his father was another Ludwig.  Meanwhile, there has been quite a bit to write about Lewis Fisher in the Robinson River Valley.  In one analysis, I said that the Garrs (who wrote the book) were wrong about the family of Lewis Fisher.  They did not have the correct set of children with the right names.  [Page 471] Extensive use was made of the church records to determine the members of the family and their names.  Ellen John wrote about the confusion the misnaming of a daughter caused.  She presented further evidence as to the correct name.  [Page 805]

James Brown also wrote an article about the German estate of Lewis Fisher.  This estate had been overblown until the imaginations of a few descendants became inflamed with the thought of riches.  An investigation in Germany could find nothing.  [Page 501]

Altogether, the name Fisher is to be found 327 times in the fifteen volumes of Beyond Germanna.
(01 Apr 04)



Nr. 1862:

How many Germanna Colonies were there, and who was in each one?  This is a tough question to answer, and we will see that it is almost impossible to say who were in the different colonies.

A few notes ago, I presented my views on when Peter Heide left Germany.  It was 1709 to my way of thinking.  What happened to him in the next few years is uncertain.  He may have gone back to Germany, or he may have been placed at one of the localities the English were using, such as Ireland, England, North Carolina, New York, or Bermuda.  (Many of the people from Nassau ended up in New York along with Joh. Fridrich Haeger.)

There is another man, with a family, who appears to have left Germany in 1709 who eventually became a Germanna colonist.  This was Urban Danner, wife, and four children who were in the Third Party which left Rotterdam in early June of 1709.  Is this the Robert Tanner of the Robinson River Valley?  Andreas Mielke says the name Urban is so rare that it becomes almost a certainty.  Then, too, Danner and Tanner are equivalents as one goes from German to English.  That Robert Tanner in the Robinson River Valley was known as Urban comes from the "Hebron" Church account (see Beyond Germanna page 331ff), where Urban Tanner is paid twelve shillings for going to Williamsburg on church business.  In the church records, the family is referred to as Dan, Danner, Tanna, etc. besides Tanner.  So our Robinson River Valley man certainly has the right name, which seems to be very unusual.

When the 1717 group started on their way and made it to London, it was found that there was not enough room on the ship (the Scott, see page 521 of Beyond Germanna) to take everyone.  Some of the people had to be left behind.  We know the names of three of the men, who were Christopher Uhl, Frederick Kapler, and George Lang (incidentally, they were all from Sulzfeld, the home of Christopher Zimmerman).  These people had intended to come in 1717, but found no transportation, so they were held back (see Beyond Germanna page 914).  Should these people be called members of the Second Colony?  They left Germany with others who are members of the Second Colony.  There may have been more than these three whose names appear on a petition asking for funds so they could return.

So it appears that there may have been a "Zeroth" Germanna Colony, namely those who started in 1709 and may have made it to America, if not necessarily Virginia.  And perhaps several who are sometimes said to be the fictitious Third Colony really should be counted in the Second Colony.  Or should they?

The story is more complicated than we usually tell it.
(02 Apr 04)



Nr. 1863:

Andreas Mielke found a series of letters in Germany which give some of the events leading up the "Decision of Henrich Haeger to Emigrate", see Beyond Germanna, page 899.  In 1703, the Latin teacher, Rev. Haeger was appointed as the pastor of Oberfischbach.  This seems to have been his first church assignment.  Within a short period, his ailments began to trouble him and his son came home from the University in November of 1707, apparently to help his father.  The son was limited in what he could do, as he was not ordained, nor even licensed to preach.  About a year and a half later, the son decided to emigrate to America, in 1709.

On 7 Jan 1711, Rev. Haeger wrote to the Prince and asked to be relieved from his duties due to the several ailments which afflicted him.  Three months later the Prince wrote that he could retire.  In retirement he was to have a free residence, the meadow for his cow, and the necessary wood for heating and cooking.

In August of 1711, Johann Justus Albrecht executed a poll deed in which he promised to give money to the ministers of Siegen from the profits of the mines in America (Beyond Germanna, page 886).  This was not a contract, as no commitment or promises were made by the ministers who were to receive the money.  With his son in New York, Rev. Haeger wanted to go to America, and toward that end he was asking the son in 1711 for assistance.  Whether Albrecht's promises had any influence is not clear, but one might assume that it did (Haeger was not one of the pastors to receive money).

Nothing happened, though, until the spring and summer of 1713.  After Rev. Haeger's retirement, the Prince appointed a new pastor, Friedrich Georg Knabenschuh.  Our next piece of information about the departure of Rev. Haeger comes from Knabenschuh.  He wrote to the Royal Synod on 12 July 1713:

"Herewith I want to have dutifully informed your Princely Consistorium [Royal Synod], that Rev. Pastor Haeger, until now residing here, has moved this early morning from here, according to his word [pretense] to settle in the Land Berg [a neighboring duchy], of which departure he never thought or said a word, but it is presumed by everyone as if [he] intends to travel to his son, and because it was just learned [that] the one time school man [Schuldiener] Hanns Jacob Holtzklau is also willing to travel away [and] as I just talked to him about that [he] gave me as an answer that he was well decided to do so should he get the permission of the Just Government."

The decisions of the Siegen-landers to emigrate is seen to have been made individually.  When Rev. Haeger left, Jacob Holtzklau did not even know if he was going or not.  Even more strongly, when Rev. Haeger left, he did not know whether Jacob Holtzklau would be leaving.
(03 Apr 04)



Nr. 1864:

It has been rather widely reported that the First and Second Colonies made an appeal in 1719 to friends in Europe for help in securing funds and a minister.  This appeal was carried to Europe by Zollicoffer.  It is said that the petition was presented to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel(SPG).  There is a statement in the Letter Book of the Society which purports to be the appeal from the Germans.  The text in the Letter Book may be read in Willis Kemper's "Genealogy of the Kemper Family".

Andreas Mielke found a true copy of the appeal made by Rev. Haeger, Johann Jost Merdten, and Hans Jacob Richter.  The latter two were described as Elders.  The document that they wrote bears no resemblance at all to the document that is quoted in the Letter Book of the SPG.  The actual appeal is very religious in nature.  In no uncertain terms it is an appeal for the Reformed Church, not the Anglican Church, or the Lutheran Church.  It expresses concern at the state of Christianity around the Germans and states the use of the German language is a necessity.

The actual German copy was reproduced in Beyond Germanna (page 819) and Andreas provided an English translation (page 818).  The original German appeal was placed in the Frankfurt newspaper, Reichs-Post-Zeitung, by Zollikoffer.  A report which was based on this appeared in an 84-page pamphlet, along with the original appeal from Germantown in Virginia, and letters of recommendation from the elders of the Reformed Church in London and from the Lutheran pastor, Balthasar Mentzer.  This report had not been circulated in the Germanna community.

What has been reported about this appeal is incomplete and inaccurate.  The appeal, as it originated in Virginia, was made by the Reformed people (the First Colony) without any participation by the Lutheran people (Second Colony).  The elements on the number of Germans who were in Virginia was added by someone who had incomplete knowledge.

Even though the appeal is clearly made by and for the Reformed people, a letter of support was obtained in London from a Lutheran pastor.  The attempt was to make the appeal as broad as possible to encourage the widest support in Germany.  (It is noted that there were Lutherans also in Virginia.)  It appears also that the original text was changed in an effort to make the appeal more appealing to the SPG.
(05 Apr 04)



Nr. 1865:

Recently, I have been presenting some information about the First Germanna Colony which is to be found in various archives and libraries around the world.  It takes some serious searching to find this material but a lot does exist and only a fraction of it has been found.  Beyond Germanna welcomed this type of material for its value in correcting and enriching the record of our ancestors.  This note gives some information about two specific Germanna families.

An old, handwritten document gives a fascinating glimpse into the life of two settlers in 18th Century Virginia.  Johannes Steinseifer, still residing in Germany, received a letter from Johann Henrich Hoffman, asking him (Johannes) to collect a debt and to bring the money with hirn when he immigrated to America.  Johannes did as requested, and the transaction is found in Court proceedings recorded in Protocolhuni Judiciale Amts (Siegen) vom Hain 1747-1749, now located at the city archive in Siegen, Germany.  Mary Doyle Johnson provided a transcription of the manuscript, which was done by Friedhelm Menk, Director of the Stadarchiv Siegen and Fürstentum Siegen Landearchiv.  The translation into English was done by Ryan Stansifer, who was the author of the article on page 583 of Beyond Germanna.

“On the 10th of May 1749 appears Johannes Steinseiffer of Eisern (who has the intention of moving to America) and produces a letter, written by Johann Henrich Hoffman who moved to America in 1743, dated Doppel Dab [Double Top?], Orange County, [Virginia] the 20th of September 1747.  [Johannes Steinseifier] makes known that the aforementioned Hoffmann has requested that he, Johannes Steinseiffer, brlng with him to America the remainder of the proceeds of the sale of goods to Henrich Jung of Eisern, and wishes that Henrich Jung be directed to make payment.

“Appearing simultaneously, Henrich Jung of Eisern acknowledges that the letter produced by Johannes Steinseiffer is written in the hand of Johann Henrich Hoffmann, his seller, and is prepared to make payment, if assured that further claims of Hoffman would not have to be honored, if for some reason the money should not reach the selfsame.”

From this simple document, we learn many things.  John Henry Huffman knew John Steinseifer.  (It does not say so here, but both men married women whose maiden names were Schuster which tends to increase the chances that the two Schuster women were related, though the connection has never been found.)  Apparently both of the men could write and used letters between Virginia and Germany as a way of communication.  We learn also that John Henry Huffman went to Virginia in 1743.  We even have some idea about where John Henry Huffman lived in Virginia.
(06 Apr 04)



Nr. 1866:

Johannes Hofmann was a member of the 1714 Germanna Colony.  Later his younger brother, Johannes Heinrich Hofmann, came to Virginia.  There was also another brother, Johann Wilhelm Hofmann, who came to America, not to Virginia, but to Pennsylvania.  Henry and William were much younger than John, 16 and 19 years respectively.  More is to be found on the family in Germanna Record Five, though Prof. Holtzclaw did not know that William had left Germany.

While still a very young man, Johannes Wilhelm started a Diary and Account Book into which he made entries over many years.  But it was not a true diary; his choice of entries strikes one as odd.  It is better described as an account book of labor, service, and fines, which he had to perform or pay.  His words make it clear that he was dedicated member of the German Reformed Church.  He had a low opinion of the Catholics who controlled the area where he lived in Eisern.

His philosophy of life was summed up in his conviction that God had ordained overlords to rule over the peasants.  Since God had made him a peasant, Wilhelm hoped that he might live in peace with good health and fortune.

"Therefore, I, Johannes Wilhelm Hoffman, from Eysern, intend to record the services I must perform such as mowing, making hay, hauling wood from the forest, hunting, and military service."

Because he did own a horse, many of the services utilized the horse.

Though Wilhelm makes it clear that he believed an extra burden fell upon him because he was a member of the Reformed Church, he never wavered in his faith in the church.

Among the names that he mentions is Pastor Heitsklaw from Wilmetogff (this in 1739 and 1740).  In 1738 he speaks of his brother-in-law, Heide of Siegen.

In 1741, he, his wife, and two sons left Eisern and went to Pennsylvania.  He moved to York County across the "Sequahanna" to a place beyond Yorktown.  At one point, he mentions the hope of being able to live without the burden of war as one of his motivations for emigrating.

In America he recorded some of the types of observations that he had recorded in Germany, namely taxes, road building, road maintenance, and war.  The French and Indian War was hard on him and he gave his belief that God was punishing America by using war as the means.

Ted Walker of Mesa, Arizona, brought the book to my attention.  A translation was made by Charles T. Zahn.  The original diary is in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.  The story here, in a slightly expanded form, appeared in Beyond Germanna on page 507.
(07 Apr 04)



Nr. 1867:

I spent some time Thursday at the local LDS Family History Center looking at the film for Sulzfeld, the home of Christopher Zimmerman just prior to emigration.  I was especially interested to see if any other Germanna names turned up.  In the decades starting about 1670, the records are especially rich in Zimmerman records.

Not long after the end of The Thirty Years' War (1648), Michael Zimmerman moved from Steffisburg, Canton of Bern (Switzerland), to Sulzfeld, where he worked on the Rabenperg estate.  Today, we call it Ravensburg.  This translocation was probably due to the need for workers in southwest Germany due to the great loss of life during the war.

We know that Michael was from Steffisburg because his wife Bendicta died in Sulzfeld.  Michael remarried and this marriage record tells us that Michael Zimmerman, widower, from Stiffisburg married Elisabetha, the surviving widow of Hans Lehman from Stiffisburg.  It is not entirely clear yet whether Elisabetha was already living in Sulzfeld, or whether Michael went back to Steffisburg.  The marriage was performed in Sulzfeld, suggesting that the Lehmans had moved also from Steffisburg to Sulzfeld.

Three sons of Michael, Johannes, Christian, and Michael, married in Sulzfeld.  They appear as parents from 1669 to 1689.  Starting in 1688, one of the grandsons starts appearing in the Baptismal Register in Sulzfeld, and his (the grandson's) third child, Hans Christoph, was the emigrant to America.

A few names occur in connection with the Zimmermans that should be studied.  Johannes Zimmerman married Regina Wegmann, and Christian Zimmerman married Maria Schuchter.  Among the head rights used by Alexander Spotswood (see page 385 in Beyond Germanna), was Hans Jerich Wegman, Anna Maria Wegman, Maria Margaret Wegman, and Maria Gotlieve Wegman.  We believe these were people who came in 1717.  The Schuchter name was the surname of Anna Barbara Schön's second husband (she married, first, a Blankenbaker and, third, a Fleshman).

I am interested in Steffisburg because it was a center of Anabaptist conversions in the 1660s.  Among the names there is a Her (Herr) and a Lehman.  The name Lehman is a very honorable Anabaptist name in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (some members of this family lived briefly in the Robinson River Valley).

Speaking of Herrs, the tour season for the Hans Herr House has commenced.  Though I am normally there the first Saturday of the month, this month I will be there tomorrow (Saturday, 10 Apr 04) leading tours of the house.  The weather forecast is for sunny weather, though it may be cool, especially in the house itself with its thick stone walls.
(09 Apr 04)



Nr. 1868:

E. W. Wallace brought the URL address ( http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~george/littleforkmap (12).jpg) to our attention.  This map shows the lands which comprised the Little Fork Germans as of 1748, especially those who were members of the Jeffersonton German Church.  (The map was provided by Marylee Newman of VA, and is posted on the Germanna Colonies Family History website.)  I thought that I might add some comments on the map this.

This map appeared in the second issue of Beyond Germanna (page 12).  The first issue had been written entirely by me since no one else even knew of the possible existence of the newsletter.  For the second issue, some people sent contributions, including Marylee Newman who forwarded a booklet of the History of the Jeffersonton Baptist Church, by Woodford B. Hackley, to me.  At a time when I was needing some concrete encouragement, this contribution by Marylee was very good for my morale.  From the booklet, I extracted the map as shown.

Some of these lands shown were obtained by patent from the Crown.  Others were obtained by purchase from the original patent owner.  The Little Fork is much larger than the area shown in the map.  I have plotted most of the original patents (sometimes grants) in the Little Fork, for both the English and German patentees.  This appeared in Beyond Germanna on page 548 and 549.  After 1743, it was decided that the lands of the Little Fork were a part of the Northern Neck.  Therefore, virgin lands were acquired by grant from the proprietor, and not by patent from the Crown after this date.

On this latter map, the patent of (Jacob) Holtzclaw is shown, which, when compared to the first of the maps here, shows that Holtzclaw sold his lands to Fishback, Back, Wayman, Young, Huffman, and Harman Miller.  The final ownership of one tract is not stated.  Either Holtzclaw continued to hold this or the purchaser was unknown to Hackley when he drew the map.

Where the Little Fork ends is not clear.  It is generally defined as the land between the North Fork and the South Fork of the Rappahannock River.  The South Fork is sometimes called the Hazel or the Elk River.  The North Fork is sometimes called the Hedgman River.  All of the land between the two branches of the river, whatever they are called, would extend essentially to the summit of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  These furthest reaches are usually not considered a part of the Little Fork.  This upper area basically constitutes modern Rappahannock County.  The lower Little Fork is in modern Culpeper County.

Holtzclaw and (Frederick) Fishback, members of the First Colony, were the earliest patentees in the Little Fork.  More typically, the Germans who lived in the Little Fork were the later comers but often from the larger Siegen area.
(12 Apr 04)



Nr. 1869:

When one looks at the Little Fork lands which were brought to our attention by E. W. Wallace, one of the people who bought land from Jacob Holtzclaw was Harman Miller.  This brought to mind his good friend, Hyman Creutz (Crites or Critz).  To review the situation, in 1738 a group of about fifty people left Freudenberg in the Nassau-Siegen district.  The story of these people was told in Beyond Germanna, among many places, on page 558.

The original data is based on comments entered by Protestant Pastor Göbel in the parish Burial Register of Freudenberg.  Otto Bäumer of Freudenberg published the material in the periodical Heimatland:  Beilage zur Siegener Zeitung, Zweiter Jahrgang, Nr. 10, 1927, 148-149.  Don Yoder translated that article and published it in Pennsylvania Folklife, Winter 1969-70, Vol. XIX, No.2, p.46.  Another English report appears in B.C. Holtzclaw, Ancestry and Descendants of the Nassau-Siegen Immigrants to Virginia 1714-1750, 1964.  Pastor Göbel wrote:

“As information I wished to write down on these pages that today, the 13th of March 1738, there left for Georgia, the new island under the protection of His Majesty the King of England, out of this land and parish, with the knowledge and consent of the authorities of this our land, the following named persons, some of them householders with a wife and children, others single male persons, namely”:  (Then, Göbel listed the names.)

Survivors of the ill-fated ship on which they came to the Colonies were:

  • Harman Miller and his family;
  • Herman Bach, with his wife Anna Margaret and daughter Anna Ella;
  • Hymenäus Creutz (Crites) and his wife Elizabeth;
  • Hermann Miller;
  • George Weidmann (Wayman); and
  • Johannes Hoffman.
The last three were bachelors.  Harman Miller was a brother of Johann Friedrich Miller.  All of these individuals had been recognized as associated with the Germanna Colonists with the exception of Herman Crites (to use an English version of his name).  The group’s history was clouded by the fact that the Freudenberg pastor had said they were going to Georgia.  Whatever their original intentions were, they joined the ship Oliver in Rotterdam.  This ship sank, after a disastrous voyage, off the cost of Virginia.  Only about one-third of the original passengers survived the trip.

I have been able to bring to the attention of the Crites family their origins and their association with the Germanna colonists.  The family had not known where they originated.  They also had not known that they were to be associated with the Germanna Colonists.  Germanna researchers, such as B. C. Holtzclaw, had not recognized that this family survived the trip.  So we are able to add another Germanna family and to bring to their attention that they were a part of a larger movement.
(14 Apr 04)



Nr. 1870:

Saturday was the Spring Conference for the Virginia Genealogical Society.  This year it was held in Richmond, at the Library of Virginia, with a theme designed for beginners in genealogy with material on the basic mechanics of how to go about it.  For example, you simply must be able to read Colonial documents.  You will not find good answers on the web.  More broadly, nearly all of us can benefit from refresher courses taught by experts.

I was there as a vendor specializing in the Germans east of the Blue Ridge, and, especially, in old Culpeper County (for example, the Culpeper Classes).  This is only a small part of the subject matter of concern to the typical Virginia genealogist.  Still, one would tend to think that any Virginia genealogist would be aware of the Culpeper Classes.  Probably nine out of ten of the people I spoke to had to ask me, "What are the Culpeper Classes?"

I talked to everyone who was willing.  Of course, if you are more willing to listen, then you will probably find that others are more encouraged to talk.  Some important things I pointed out, especially after having observed those in attendance, especially the less experienced people, are:

  • Everyone needs to review the general history.
  • People often have no idea of fundamental events in history, such as when Virginia was first settled, when Pennsylvania was first settled, when the migration from Pennsylvania to Virginia started, and when people started leaving Virginia.
  • These are important.
  • If an ancestor was believed to be living in the Shenandoah Valley in 1730, where was he or she likely to have originated?
  • Why were there apparent migrations from the west of Virginia to the east of Virginia in the late 1750s?
  • The genealogists who have accomplished the most have a much better sense of history.
  • The accomplished genealogists know that their hobby has, and will continue to, cost them money.  And they also know that it takes a lot of hard work.  Facts don't fall into one's lap without some effort.

I don't know if it was the beautiful spring weather or not, but the traffic was choking the highways.  I hate to think of what happen this summer.
(19 Apr 04)



Nr. 1871:

At the recent Virginia Genealogical Society meeting, one of the pleasures was talking to a Rucker, or Rücker, descendant.  The family considers that the immigrant Rucker was a German who came with the Huguenots to Virginia, though he never lived with the Huguenots.  My memory is not that good, but I believe that these Huguenots came about 1700, give or take a couple of years.

If this is true, then we have another Germanna colonist (i.e., a German who lived on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains) who came before 1714.  I have mentioned that Peter Heide appears to have left Germany in 1709, though his path in the following years is uncertain.  I also mentioned Urban Danner (Urban Tanner) who left Germany in 1709, and who is probably the man in the German Lutheran Church (in the Robinson River) accounts in 1733.  Again, we are not certain when he arrived in America.

At one time, I was writing a short history of the Robinson River Germans and did not even list the Ruckers.  I began to be suspicious that this might be a German family when I noted that the name is to be found in Germany.  Descendants say the immigrant was German but he never lived in the Robinson River Valley.  The Ruckers that were there were his descendants.

If any of you believe you may have Rucker ancestors, you will want to subscribe to “The Rücker Family Society Newsletter”.  It was in its fourteenth volume as of March 2003, with a quarterly publishing schedule.  The editor and president is:

Jeannie B. Robinson
304 Charmian Road
Richmond, VA 23226-1705
(Her eMail address is:  ruckerfs@erols.com)
Membership costs ten dollars per year, a very reasonable fee.

The Rucker land patent that I am familiar with was to the south of Michael Holt.  On some occasions, the families were witnesses for each other.

This would be a good opportunity for readers to come forward with information about the Ruckers.  It would help to solidify in our minds their relationship to other Germanna colonists.
(20 Apr 04)



Nr. 1872:

A recent inquiry about the Pickler family led George Durman to comment that the name was a variation of the "Blankenbaker" name.  Or more correctly, the Blankenbaker and Pickler names are variations of much older spellings.  The earliest known spellings date from a court document of 1577 in Steinakirchen in Austria.  Two witnesses who were testifying on behalf of Georg Treuer were Erhart Plangkhenpuehler and Lieonhardt Planckhenpuehler, see page 773 of Beyond Germanna.  Georg Treuer is believed to have been a Lutheran pastor who led the Reformation in the area.  In the Counter-Reformation, it was attempted to expel the Lutherans and to return to the Catholic religion.  The two men, among several others, appeared in court to testify in favor of Georg Treuer.  This conflict, between the Catholics and the Lutherans, went on for almost another one hundred years and became the reason that there are many Austrians who made their way to Germany and to America.

By the time the name came to America, the "P's" had become "B's," the "h" after the "k" had been dropped, and the "c" before the "k" was dropped.  Hence the name became Blankenbuehler.

The farm that Jacob Plankenbuehler lived on in 1600 in Gresten-Land, Austria, was (and is still) known as Planckenbichl.  Generally, "bichl" is the older form of the word "hill" and "buehl" is the newer form for the word "hill".  We will see that the form "bichl" led to the name Pickler.

In America, Matthias Blankenbuehler had three sons, George (born in Germany), John, and Christopher.  George died very young, apparently after only one son, John, was born (in the 1740's).  The mother remarried and the family moved to Rowan County, North Carolina.  The infant John maintained his biological father's name.  In North Carolina, the boy was the only one of the name Plankenpickler.  Interestingly, this spelling harkens back to some of the oldest spellings of the name in Austria.

John had four sons and they agreed to change the spelling to something shorter.  In choosing a new spelling, they looked upon Plankenpickler as a double name, i.e., Planken-Pickler.  They decided that the last half of the name would be enough and so the descendants of John became Picklers.  Apparently, and no evidence to the contrary is known, all adopted the new spelling.

Many of the descendants lived in North Carolina and still do.  Some moved to Tennessee, and, of course, with the passage of time they diffused all over America from North Carolina.

A major researcher of the Pickler family is Eugene B. Pickler, Route 1, Box 470, New London, NC 28127.  He would be a good starting point for anyone who wishes to pursue questions concerning the Picklers.
(21 Apr 04)



Nr. 1873:

The question was asked on the Germanna_Colonies Mailing List at Rootsweb as to whether anything had been written on the Millers that moved to southwest Virginia from the Little Fork community.  The answer to that question is, “Yes.”

Clovis Miller wrote an article for Beyond Germanna (page 515) which was based on the publication, “The Family and Descendants of John Frederick Miller 1711-1787 of Halifax County, Virginia”.  The latter is a limited circulation publication of a substantial size which is in the hands of family members and a limited number of libraries.

The situation is that quite a bit is known from Nassau-Siegen, and a lot is known from Halifax County.  In between, for about ten years, there is a limited amount of information except for the knowledge that one of the Miller (Müller) brothers had land in the Little Fork of Culpeper County, Virginia.  By comparing names before the departure from Germany and names from Halifax County, we must assume that the Miller families and the Creutz family moved together over similar paths.

John Frederick Miller was born in 1711 as the first child of Hermann and Anna Margarethe (Häner) Miller and was christened on August 2 of that year at Freudenberg, west of Siegen.  In 1733, he was accepted as an apprentice in the Guild of Steelsmiths and Toolmakers, of which his father was a Master.  Johann Friedrich Muller married Anna Maria, daughter of Hans Henrich and Margarethe (Schneider) Arnd on 4 July 1737, when he was 26 and she was 20.  On 2 January 1738, their first child, Matthias, was born at Freudenberg.  Within a few months, the family was making plans to find a new life in America.  Other individuals who came to America with the Millers were Herman Bach with his wife Anna Margaret and daughter Anna Ella, Hymenäus Creutz (Crites) and his wife Elizabeth, Hermann Miller, George Weidrnann (Wayman), and Johannes Hofman.  The last three were bachelors.  Hermann Muller was a brother of Johann Friedrich Müller.  (That the wives named here actually arrived is problematic since so many people lost their lives in the Atlantic crossing.)

The Millers and the Crites, or Creutz, families are found together in Halifax County.  The best starting place for reading about the Millers would be the article in Beyond Germanna, and then the larger work which was cited earlier.  Information was available at one time on the web also.  It is not clear why so little information is available on these families from the Little Fork, or from the Germantown area.  Presumably, they did not all own land and remained for only a limited number of years.
(22 Apr 04)



Nr. 1874:

My “Ortssippenbuch Diefenbach” came in the mail today.  A few weeks ago when I investigating the baptisms of children of Christoph Zimmermann at Sulzfeld, I encountered the name Ludwig Fischer, a citizen of Tiefenbach, as a sponsor for one of the Zimmermann children.  Seeing that there was a Diefenbach a few miles south of Sulzfeld, I became very excited when I saw that there was an Ortssippenbuch (place - genealogy - book) for Diefenbach.  Inquiries to the author indicated that copies were still available.  I had some Euros left over from the trip to Germany in 2002 and I used some of these to purchase the book.  It came by surface mail, to reduce the shipping costs, and so it took a while to arrive.  Even before I had ordered the book, I had become aware that there was a village named Tiefenbach which was a few miles north of Sulzfeld.  However, I went ahead with the Diefenbach Ortssippenbuch purchase knowing that Diefenbach was in the general region of Germanna ancestors.  These Ortssippenbüchen often become unavailable and I did not want to miss the opportunity of getting it.  The author of it is Prof. Dr. Burkhart Oertel, who also published the book.  (The book is in German.)

To show how the letters “T” and “D” are often interchanged, let me cite some men from this book.  Michael Tranner appears also in the records as Michael Dranner.  He was baptized in Diefenbach in 1580, married in Diefenbach in 1615, and died at an unknown date probably in another locality.  His father was Jacob Tranner, the schoolteacher.  Michael’s father and brother never were called Dranner.

The Treffinger family has many instances where the members’ names were given as Dreffinger.  It was not a matter of ignorance.  Ludwig Treffinger, sometimes called Dreffinger, was a judge and mayor.  He was baptized in 1717.

I cite these examples to justify, partially, my equating Tiefenbach and Diefenbach.  The village of Trupbach, a suburb of Siegen, used to be called something like Druppach which exhibits the interchange of "d" and "t" as well as "p" and "b".

Often an Ortssippenbuch gives a summary of information that is hardly related to genealogy.  This can be very interesting.  For example, I am told in the book that Amerika is mentioned 102 times.  Nearly always this would be noting a person or family who emigrated to America.  In fact, though, the number 102 is probably too small.  I make this judgment on the basis of the Ortssippenbuch for Oberöwisheim-Neuenbuerg where Amerika is mentioned about 150 times, but it is not a part of the record for the Blankenbuehlers, Fleischmanns, or Scheibles.  Neither Neuenbuerg nor Diefenbach is a very large village.
(23 Apr 04)



Nr. 1875:

The “Ortssippenbuch Diefenbach” is written in German but anyone can read the substance of the book.  Let me give a typical family entry, the basic unit of presentation.

  • 648: Hanss Burkhardt Fischer (aus 642), Bauer, . » 23.11.1724, 23.4.1784, Auszehrung, 59J.5M.; ¥ um 1750 Anna Catharina Kicherer, aus Zaisersweiher, * err 21.4.1732, Dfb 29.4.1786, hitzig. Fieber, 54J.8T. 11 Kdr * Dfb:
  •   1. Johannes . » 28.5.1751
  •   2. Joh. Adam * 20.8.1752 25.2.1776 ledig Simpel
  •   3. Georg Jacob 26.8.1754
  •   4. Joh. Burckhard 5.5.1756 (® 650/51)
  •   5. Christina Catharina 6.4.1759 (® 1935)
  •   6. Johannes 11.2.1761 ¥ Derdingen . . . 1795 Salome , Wwe. D. Georg Adam Schmid, Schmied
  •   7. Joseph 28.1.1765 ¥ Schützingen . . . 1792 Louisa Lang, T.d. Hanss Jerg L., Bauer dort
  •   8. Joh. David 13.3.1768 22.3.1768
  •   9. Maria Elisabeth 10.6.1769 24.12.1774
  • 10. Joh. David 15.5.1771 1.3.1772
  • 11. Philipp Heinrich 2.3.1773 18.2.1774.
    [end of record]

The numbers shown in "maroon" color are "family numbers" in the “Ortssippenbuch Diefenbach”.

I am not sure how well the special symbols will come through.  The asterisk, "*" should come through ok.  As a look-alike for a star, we can associate it with birth (“star in the east”).  The two wavy lines, "»", which is the mathematical symbol for “approximately” suggest water waves and hence baptism.  The character "" looks like a cross and is the symbol for date of death.  The two side-by-side small circles, "¥", for which I use the mathematical symbol for infinity, are the symbol meaning “married”.  With a hyphen between the two circles such as "o-o" we have unmarried parents.  Two circles separated with an x such as "oxo" means “divorced”.  In some cases, the first date after a name does not have an asterisk or the wavy lines.  Either both events (birth and baptism) occurred on the same day (not an uncommon event) or it was very difficult to discern the intention of the writer.  The symbol "®" (a "right pointing arrow", used by the author to signify "see" or "go to") points to a family number where more information is to be found.

(Note from Webmaster:  To see the sybmols mentioned above, you must have the Microsoft (MS) Font "Symbol" installed and activated.  This font is one of the basic MS fonts, and, unless you have deleted it or deactivated it, it should be on your system.  If you do not have "Symbol" installed, you should certainly re-install it, since many/most webpages depend on it.)

The dates are given in the sequence day, month, and year, working from the shortest interval to the longest interval.

The choice of a “Fisher” record has no significance except that I got started looking for Ludwig Fischer.  There is no Ludwig Fischer in Diefenbach.

Let’s see how well this note comes through.
(26 Apr 04)


(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 SEVENTY-FIFTH set of Notes, Nr. 1851 through Nr. 1875.)

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 1851 through 1875.

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