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This is the EIGHTY-THIRD 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 2051 through 2075.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 83

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Nr. 2051:

At the half-century marks, I devote the Note to the larger view.  Perhaps, a good thing to do is to review the name Germanna itself.  During the time that Alexander Spotswood was Lt. Governor of Virginia, which was from 1710 to 1722, he named several geographical features in Virginia after Queen Anne, the ruling monarch in the first part of his tenure.  The southern fork of the Rappahannock River was renamed the Rapidanne (Rapid+Anne) River which became, with usage, the Rapidan River.  Along the Rapidan River he built Fort Germanna where the name is a combination of German plus the queen's name (Germ+Anna).  (Using the German spelling of Anna sounds better than the English spelling of Anne.)  Shortly after Fort Germanna was built, Christanna (Christ+Anna) in the south of Virginia was built.  This was another fort of more substance than Germanna.  Also, a couple of other streams were named with an Anne or Anna in the name.

Our interest in all of these names centers on Germanna because of the Germans that were installed in this fort for about four and a half year.  After this time, the Germans moved away, the Fort was torn down, and Spotswood built his home.  About twelve families lived in the fort and they are referred to as the First Colony.  Outside the fort, at a distance of about two to eight miles, another group lived on the north side of the Rapidan starting in early 1718.  They would have seen Fort Germanna, and, later, when Germanna became the seat of Spotsylvania County, they went to court there.  So this Second Colony has some association with the Fort and with Germanna.

The Germans kept coming after the First and Second Colonies had departed the area of Fort Germanna.  Most of these later comers had no direct association with Fort Germanna.  But so many of them were friends and relatives of the first two Colonies that it seems an arbitrary decision not to include them in the Germanna set.

Where should the cutoff be between people who should be labeled Germanna citizens and those who do not qualify?  I have always taken a liberal view on this question favoring a broad inclusion; however, some limits have to be drawn.  I have found it convenient to call all the Germans who lived on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains as meriting the designation of Germanna citizens.  Since so much of genealogy is location related, especially to the court houses, I sometimes define a Germanna citizen as one who lived in the modern counties of Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, and Rappahannock, and their predecessor counties of Essex, Spotsylvania, Orange, Stafford, and Prince William.  This is more restrictive than saying the east side of the Blue Ridge.

Some people are interpreting Germanna as some strange way of saying "German", and they are posing questions which even go outside of the liberal interpretation of Germanna which I use.  No one is to be excluded but some of the comments and questions here could be more to the point of Germanna. (18 Feb 05)



Nr. 2052:

Relative to the last note, a reader asks what the relationship of the Germanna Colonies was to the Germans in Loudoun County (in the northern tier of Virginia counties).  The reader observes that the Loudoun County Germans seem to be nearer the Germans in Frederick, Maryland, and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  He is correct about the association to their northern brethren as opposed to any association to the south and the Germanna people.

Very few Germans came directly into Virginia.  Both of the first two Germanna Colonies came because of an external influence, not their own desire to be in Virginia.  The fifty odd people from Freudenberg that intended to come to Virginia in 1738 were able to choose a ship that was going to Virginia but this was a special case, as the ship had been chartered to convey a group of Swiss who intended to settle on land owned by William Byrd.  In Rotterdam, the Germans happened to find a ship going to Virginia and they joined it.  In 1750, the Reiner family left Schwaigern in Wuerttemberg intending to go to Virginia but, like nearly all of the German emigrants, their choice of ships was limited to Pennsylvania and more rarely New York or Maryland.  So they went to Philadelphia and then found, almost immediately, their way down to Virginia.

Most of the German settlement in Virginia took place out of Pennsylvania and Maryland.  Quite early on, a road was established from Philadelphia that went west to Lancaster, York, and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.  As the road approached the Appalachian Mountains it was turned south to avoid having to cross these mountains.  It then passed on through Maryland to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.  This route was so well known that it was called the Great Wagon Road.  Today it is approximated by Interstate 81.  The people who settled along the Great Wagon Road were oriented to Pennsylvania.  The people who settled in Maryland came either from Pennsylvania or Baltimore.  Many Notes ago, there were several accounts of a trip south by Moravian Brothers from Bethlehem in Pennsylvania.  At this time (1740s), the road was still being forged.

Was there any interaction between these Great Wagon Road Germans and the Germanna Colonists?  Yes, there was some.  There are several names in the German Lutheran Church (Hebron) in Orange and Culpeper Counties who are identified with Shenandoah Valley.  One that comes to mind is George Trumbo who lived in what is now West Virginia.  On some trip that he made, he met and married Margaret Utz.  Their first child was baptized in the Culpeper German Lutheran Church.  Or Rev. William Carpenterís mentor and teacher was based in a Lutheran church in Winchester.  Rev. Henkel preached on both sides of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The Rev. Klug from the German Lutheran Church used to ride the circuit in the Valley, preaching, baptizing, and giving communion.  He was there enough that the Moravians wrote off Virginia as fertile ground for their message.
(21 Feb 05)



Nr. 2053:

A reader writes, "A review of the names listed in the Revolutionary War Minutemen Battalion of Culpeper County, Virginia, did not reveal very many German names of the greater Germanna community in Culpeper at the time.  Is there a reason for the exclusion?"

My comments are not directed specifically toward the Culpeper Minutemen, as I am not that knowledgeable about them.  I even suspect that some of the things that have been written about these men are not correct.  For my comments, I will base them more on the Culpeper Classes, where I have studied them more.  The Revolutionary War was not popular with the Germans.  They found it hard to understand what the fuss was all about.  They generally had left oppressive principalities where land was hard to obtain and achieving an economic well being was not easy.  The Germans were inclined to believe that the English in America did not understand how well they had it.  Among the English, a large percentage of them were not enthusiastic about the war.  It was a way to get killed.  (Perhaps the biggest complaint of the Germans was that they had to support the English Church with their tax money.)

Of the 104 Classes in the Culpeper Classes in which one man was drafted from each Class, letís look at the reaction among the drafted men.  Twelve of the men refused to serve.  Another twelve of the men absconded.  But these numbers do not tell the whole story.  The members of several Classes decided, before the random selection of a man in their Class was made, to hire a substitute for their Class.  Even more commonly, the man selected would hire a substitute to take his place.  For example, in Class 76, the draft named John Blankenbaker as the selection, but he hired his brother-in-law, Lewis Nonnamacher, to take his place.

Also, in the selections we have these German names:

Nicholas Blankenbaker Daniel Railsback Jacob Tanner
Adam Painter Jacob Nay, Jr. John Young
George Cofer (?) Matthias Weaver Reuben Hufman
Frederick Coons
(who hired a substitute)
James Yowell
(who hired a substitute)
Tilman Hufman
(William Adkins
substituted)
Reuben Garriott
(not strictly a German
himself, but the family married
many Germans)
Jesse Wilhoit
(Lewis Wilhoit
substituted for him)
Samuel Blankenbaker
(John Yeager, related by
marriage, substituted)


For anyone wanting to study the Culpeper Classes, in which there are the names of more than 1400 men from old Culpeper County, I have published a book which is the best source of information on the Classes.  It is even better than the original lists at the Virginia State Library or any of the other published lists, some of which have several errors in them.  See my web page, or the Germanna Foundationís list of publications for more information.  (Look for "The Culpeper Classes".)
(22 Feb 05)



Nr. 2054:

The upcoming trip to Germany sponsored by the Germanna Foundation will visit Neuenbuerg, now in Baden-Wuerttemberg.  In 1717, this village lay in the lands belonging to the Bishops of Speyer.  This meant that the village was under the control of the Catholic Church and there was no Protestant Church in the village; however, less than two miles away, there was a Protestant Church at Oberoewisheim.  The residents of Neuenbuerg walked to the latter church to attend church.  The Church Book there is identified as Oberoewisheim-Neuenbuerg and the records for both villages were kept there.

There is an Ortssippenbuch for the two villages (a report was given in Beyond Germanna on page 825).  I thought it would be of interest to mention some of the names to be found in the book.  They include:

Bender Blanck Blanckenbuehler Christler
Debelt/Debold/Debolt Diehl Finck/Fink Fischer
Fleischmann Gerhard Hepp Hirsch
Jaeger Kaefer Kappeler Kiefer
Klar Kreiger Lang Lederer
Lepp/Lipp Mack Maier/Mayer/Meier/Meyer Motz
Ostreicher Rauch Rausch Reiser
Ruecker Sauter Schad Schailbe/Schaiblin/Scheiblin
Schluechter Schneider Schoen Schueck
Sieber Silber Thoma/Thomas Uhl
Vogt/Voigt Weidmann Weingard Zimmerman


Never have I seen so many Germanna names in one locality.  Some of the names above are common enough to be found in almost every village.  Still, if one compares this list of names to the names from Gemmingen that I reported here last fall, one sees a much higher concentration of Germanna names in Oberoewisheim-Neuenbuerg than in Gemmingen.  Some other nearby villages show many similar names.  For example, Sulzfeld has Lang, Uhl, Kabler, and Zimmerman, who were all immigrants to Virginia.

The Ortssippenbuch says that America is given more than 150 times as the place of that people intended to emigrate to.  It is not mentioned even once for the 1717 emigrants, so the 150 is a low number.  The villages were a hotbed of emigration, especially in the Nineteenth Century.  One specific place that is mentioned is Jefferson, USA.

In the list above, one name is Ostreicher.  This could mean "Resident of Austria".  The Blankenbakers were from Austria and I am betting, for a variety of reasons, that there were several other families from Austria that moved from there at the same time as the Blankenbakers did (i.e., about 1655).  There is a lot of Germanna history to be found in Neuenbuerg and Oberoewisheim.
(23 Feb 05)



Nr. 2055:

The word, Ortssippenbuch, is a combination word:  Orts = Place, sippen = genealogy, buch = book.  The people who make up these books are really dedicated, because doing one is much like Hank Z Jones' work with the New York Palatines.  Some Germans have done several Ortssippenbuecher.  The books are not too common in the U.S. (or in Germany).  The most likely sources are the Library of Congress, the FHL in Salt Lake City (where a few have been microfilmed), or the New York City Public Library.  (I believe that I own one but I canít lay my hands on it just now.)  Of course, the books are in German, but that is not a difficulty because they are understandable rather immediately.  A German dictionary could be useful to look up a few words.  Also, a detailed map is useful.

For a quick survey of a village, nothing can beat an Ortssippenbuch.  Nearly always the books are indexed, so the fastest way to gain some insight is to peruse the Index.  In the last note, I gave you a long list of Germanna names.  This does not say that any of the Germanna people of these names came from Oberoewisheim or Neuenbuerg.  But I would much rather start searching in the village Church Records where the name in question is in an Ortssippenbuch.

Very often, a name in one village will be found in adjacent villages.  One can also use the telephone book as a research tool.  In Beyond Germanna, I showed the results that could be obtained with the German Names software program.

I am convinced that much more history is to be found in Germany, especially of connections among the families that we know in America.

In doing an Ortssippenbuch, the author generally relies on the Church Records for his/her primary source of information.  Some of the authors will consult the civil records also to help fill in the gaps.  Occasionally, cross referencing to other Ortssippenbuch is done.  In some books, the indexing includes the counts of the number of occupation and the place to which to emigration was made.

Please understand that these books are printed, not handwritten.  There is no problem with the legibility or understanding what the letters are.  In fifteen minutes, you can be at work using the Ortssippenbuch.

I did double check the information on the families I gave in the last note but most of them pertain to the Nineteenth Century.  More information might be gained by consulting the Church Records for mentions of names that have too little information to construct a family.
(24 Feb 05)



Nr. 2056:

I found my copy of an Ortssippenbuch.  It is for Diefenbach, and I have mentioned it here before.  Diefenbach is located between ÷tisheim (Oetisheim), the home of the Broyles family, and Sulzfeld, the home of the Zimmerman, Uhl, Lang, and Kabler families.  The research was done by Prof. Dr. Burkhart Oertel, and the data covers the period from 1558 to 1945.  This is an unusually early date.  There are gaps, especially during the Thirty Years' War when Diefenbach was laid to waste.

There is an index to geographical names.  America is mentioned in 122 families, probably because one or more members emigrated there.  In the German villages, Oetisheim, Sulzfeld, and Zaberfeld are mentioned, on the average, more than most villages.  Zaberfeld was the home of the Germanna Kaefers.  Switzerland is mentioned several times, but probably not because of emigration to that place but because people came from there to settle in Germany.

To show that the Ortssippenbuch is not a complete record, 50 names of men are given who were found in the muster rolls for 1523 to 1608 who said they were from Diefenbach.  They have no appearance in the Ortssippenbuch.  NOT EVERYONE APPEARS IN THE CHURCH RECORDS is the lesson.  There is a list of 51 names, some with children, who had no surname, but were only identified in other ways.  For example, "A small child of a poor woman by Ellwangen."  The last case of no surname seems to occur in 1717.

Diefenbach is not a large village.  In the eleven years ending in 1568, there were 180 children baptized.  Except for the Thirty Years' War period (1618 to 1648), this is a fair representation.  During the war years, Diefenbach was not a livable place for much of the time.  It took until the 1740 decade ended to approach the earlier level, and did not exceed it until the 1790 decade ended.  By the end of the decade in 1870, the number of baptisms had reached 323, the highest level to that date.

In the First World War, some of the familiar names in the casualty list, including the missing in action, are Fischer, Keppler, and Spaeth.  In the Second World War, the familiar names include Fischer, Hirsch, Schneider, Spaeth, and Ziegler.  Most of these names are common names so there is no special significance to them.  This Ortssippenbuch was purchased from the author.  I found the basic information on the net and wrote to him.  I had some surplus Euros and I sent these to pay for the book.
(25 Feb 05)



Nr. 2057:

[In previous Notes, I may have referred to the meeting of the Palatines to America, Pennsylvania Chapter, as occurring on the fourth Saturday of April, and on the last Saturday of April.  Most years this would make no difference but this year there are five Saturdays in April.  The meeting will be held on the fourth Saturday, April 23.]

A correspondent is attempting to complete a possible connection to George Long/Lang of the Robinson River community.  Let me recount what I do know and ask if others know anything more.

George Lang was a signer of a petition in the fall of 1717 in London asking for financial help in returning to Germany.  Adjacent signers are Christopher Uhl and Frederick Kappler, both of whom were from Sulzfeld; however, there is no clear church record in Sulzfeld for George Lang.

George Lang applied for a headright on 7 October 1729, saying that he came with his wife Rebecca "about twelve years since in the ship called the Mulberry."  This record may be in error, considering that he apparently did not come in 1717 and that he had a late patent compared to the majority who came in 1717.

George Lang patented 300 acres of new land in Spotsylvania County, in the first fork of the Robinson river, adjacent to Andreas Kirker, John Huffman, and Mathias Castler.  The patent was issued on 28 September 1731 (Patent Book 14, page 359).  He paid for the land with 20 shillings and the head rights of George Lang and Rebeccah, his wife.

In 1739 he bought land (100 acres) of Matthias Castler.  He also appears in the Orange Co. tithables in 1739 as George Lung with one tithable.  In 1750 and 1751 he deeded land to Michael Russell and to Martin Hirsch.

In a land grant in Shenandoah County in 1776, Frederick Stoneburger was granted 210 acres adjacent to Zachariah Blankinbaker, Nicholas Long, and Philip Long.  I have wondered if Nicholas and Philip were sons of George.

In general, it is not clear what happened to George Long after the land sales of 1750 and 1751.  By this time, the original land would have been in Culpeper Co., and the will abstracts of Culpeper Co. for 1749 to 1770 do not show a George Long/Lang.  I can find no clear land record for him after 1751.

If anyone else can help, please respond.  My correspondent speculates that a daughter of George Long married Martin Hirsch (Deer) though I have not yet seen any proof of this.
(28 Feb 05)



Nr. 2058:

In England, about 1600, the conception of a surveyor as a man whose primary task was to measure land accurately and set boundaries was still relatively novel.  The roots of the modern profession developed in the previous century when the process of enclosing the strips of old open fields with hedges or fences accelerated.

The medieval Lord of the manor distributed plots of land to villagers who shared the plowing of the open fields and grazed their livestock in public meadows or Commons.  Strips in open fields were apportioned among tenants on the basis of how long it took to plow soils of varying heaviness or lightness, taking into consideration land contours and drainage requirements.  Medieval measurements of area bore little resemblance to modern concepts.  The word "acre" originally denoted the amount of land a yoke of oxen could plow in a day.  [I believe that in Germany, the unit was the "Morgan" which was the amount of land a man could plow in the morning.]

Gradually, measurement of land in terms of work-time gave way to the use of units of linear distance and superficial area.  But even the rods, perches, and poles along outer dimensions of fields differed in length from one part of England to another and according to the type of land within the same region.  The use in some localities of a short rod of twelve feet for arable land, of a rod of eighteen feet for meadows, and of a long rod of twenty or twenty-two feet for woodlands and rocky terrain, demonstrates that measuring the proportionate value of land for agricultural uses predominated over mathematical calculation of the actual area.

These differences in the length of a rod survived for centuries, after the standardization of measures in the reign of King Edward I, at 16Ĺ feet.  A surveying text in 1658 discusses the problems which might arise in applying the statutory measures to lands in districts of England where the customary units were still in use.  Mathematics being what it was, the exact calculation of area was impossible.  The number of acres was estimated by the task-time for plowing or by the bushels or pecks of seeds sowed.

In localized rural communities, bound by tradition rather than by commerce, the lack of a system or uniformity in laying out lands was not of great concern.  Custom dictated the descent of rights to particular tracts of land and there was little need for surveying in the modern sense.  The basic instrument in Medieval England for surveying was the pole.  Only in the Sixteenth Century did the compass and an instrument for sighting straight lines come into use.  Land today in Germany is measured in hectares.  Your homework for tomorrow is, "What is the relationship between an acre and a hectare?"
(01 Mar 05)



Nr. 2059:

A hectare is defined as ten thousand square meters.  Since one meter is about 39.4 inches, one can use these numbers, along with the definition of an acre as 43,650 square feet, to find that one hectare is equal to 2.471 acres.  Because a hectare is defined by using meters, we see that it is a relatively modern definition with a solid foundation.  Next, a trick question for you.  Which is larger, a hectare or an acre?

The books written specifically for surveyors in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries are guides to the changing nature of the profession.  They chart the shifting focus of a surveyorís duties and illustrate the difficulties to be overcome before scientific land mensuration was possible.  The many pages devoted to basic instruction in mathematics testify to the paucity of formal education relevant to training surveyors.  Sixteenth Century books often also included tables to assist those who could not multiply, divide, or use fractions.  Even as late as 1688, John Loveís "Geodaesia" devoted over one-fourth of its pages to instruction in "vulgar arithmetick", basic geometry, conversion of one unit of linear measure to another, and calculation of superficial areas.

Authors in this period found it necessary to refute prevalent false notions of geometry.  Among the common errors were the assumptions that all four sided figures had right angles and the belief that the area of a field of irregular shape could be computed by adding the lengths of all sides, dividing by four, and squaring the result.  (This practice was equivalent to finding the average length of a side and multiplying it by itself as though the field were a square.)

Before 1550, English surveyors relied upon wooden rods or knotted cords (treated with wax and rosin to limit stretching and shrinking) to survey by line-measurements only.  No angle-measuring instruments were used.  Though small pocket magnetic compasses were available, their use was apparently limited to providing orientations in poor weather.  Field notes were kept on notched sticks or stray sheets of paper.  No plots were drawn of the boundaries.

In the next seventy years after 1550, enormous progress was made in the construction of instruments and in the perfection of techniques for measuring in the field.  These new instruments permitted the measurement of angles and the sighting of a straight line.  Many of these were borrowed from navigators and astronomers, who in turn had borrowed heavily from the Arabs.  The technicians at work in Germany, France, and Italy were ahead of the English.

When angles were first measured, the unit was not degrees but the directions of the wind as northeast or east by northeast.  The circle was divided into thirty-two parts, eight to each 90-degree sector.  Again, we see the borrowing of techniques from the mariners.
(02 Mar 05)



Nr. 2060:

The state of education in arithmetic is highlighted by the publication of the first clear explanation of the significance and use of decimal fractions by the Dutch civil engineer Simon Stevin in 1585.  That is, at about the time of the first explorations of Virginia, computation with decimal fractions was still a mystery.

Aaron Rathbone, an English surveyor invented a decimal chain for surveying, based on the 16Ĺ foot length of the Statute Pole.  This was first described in 1616 and was adopted by many English surveyors because it made calculations simpler.  Rathboneís chain was superseded by the improved chain introduced by Edmund Gunter in 1620.  Gunterís chain became the standard distance measuring instrument in the English-speaking world and endured for well over two hundred years.

Gunterís chain was 66 feet long, i.e., it was four poles long.  It had one hundred links with each tenth link marked by a brass ring.  The result was the following table of equivalents:

       1 link = 7.92 inches
   25 links = 1 pole or 16Ĺ feet
 100 links = 1 chain, or 66 feet, or 4 poles
10 chains = 1 furlong, or 660 feet, or 40 poles, or one-eighth mile
80 chains = 1 mile

In area measurements, a square of 10 chains on each side would be equal to 435,600 square feet or 10 acres.

(It is interesting to note that the furlong is used in horse racing to describe fractional miles.)

Another improvement in the field in the late Sixteen Century was the use of the tripod as opposed to a single rod.  Another innovation was the plane table, a flat surface that was taken to the field for holding a piece of paper.  As a survey was being made, the plot of the tract could be made on paper on the plane table.  In 1616, appeared the first printed work describing how to make and use a field book for keeping a record of the work done.

Computational scales, especially useful in working with a scale drawing, appeared in the late Seventeenth Century.

Gunter, a revered name among surveyors, was born in 1581 and became an Oxford-trained mathematician and astronomer.  His practical applications were to simplify the calculations made for seafaring navigators.  A by-product of this work was applicable to surveying.

It is seen that major improvements in surveying started the last half of the 1500s and extending up to about 1700.  There were revolutionary changes in the period.
(03 Mar 05)



Nr. 2061:

I will do a short series on St. Maryís German Lutheran Church in London, which is important in the history of the Second Colony.  My source of information about St. Maryís is a book of history pertaining to the Church which was found by Andreas Mielke and Sandra Yelton.

For there to be a German Lutheran Church in London, there must have been some German Lutherans in London.  The surprising thing is the number of them as merchants and craftsmen who sought a better chance in London than they could find in Germany.  It has been said that 50,000 Germans came in the 1400s.  Very early in the Reformation, the Germans brought Reformation thought to England.  In the first years, there was a lot of opposition because England was still Catholic.  Many printed tracts appeared and the English sought to seize these and to apprehend the people who were bringing the literature into England.  This situation changed when Henry VIII broke with Rome and steered a course more favorable to the Reformation.

In 1550, foreign Protestant refugees in London received a charter from King Edward VI which guaranteed them the former Augustian church of Austin Friars in the City, and allowed them to conduct their services in their own language and according to their own orders.  This "Strangersí Church", as it was known then, had no specific national character; it became a haven for French, Walloons, Flemings, and Low Germans who came together by their common faith.

Three years later, this community was disbanded under Mary Tudor (1553-1558), who tried to re-Catholicise England.  Many parishioners fled, but returned when Elizabeth I (1558-1603) came to the throne.

More than another hundred years had to go by before the first genuine German Lutheran congregation was founded.  A help in this was the tragic circumstance of the Great Fire of 1666, which reduced large parts of the City of London to ashes, including the Church Allhallows the Great, in which members of the Steelyard used to attend services.  Most of these economically influential merchants were Lutherans, and with the help of the Swedish ambassador, Johann B. Leyonberg, they asked Charles II (1660-1685) for permission to build their own Church in Trinity Lane, which later became known by the name Hamburg Lutheran Church.

Why did Charles II do this?  He rather favored Catholicism, and Parliament had enacted laws against conducting nonconformist services.  The only valid communion was Anglican; however, Charles II needed money and therefore could not afford to do without the lucrative trade of the Hanseatic merchants.  And, at the time, England and Sweden were allies.
(04 Mar 05)



Nr. 2062:

In 1689, the early German congregation rested on the relatively uncertain favor of the King.  But, in that year, the Toleration Act of 1689, under William III of Orange, constituted a considerable factor of stability for the development of German congregations.  The Toleration Act guaranteed the right to free exercise of religion, not only to English Free Churches, but also to the foreign congregations.  They received the same legal status and were no longer dependent on Royal favors.  Three years after the Act was passed, the Scandinavian members left the Hamburg Lutheran Church and built their own church near the Tower in 1696.

St. Maryís was the second German congregation in London.  It originated by splitting off from the Hamburg mother Church.  The reasons for this split can no longer be reconstructed.  The Lutheran hierarchy opposed the move.  Without a definite record in the Church books, it appears that St. Maryís was started in 1694 (that is the first year that a split in mentioned in the Hamburg records).  Other splits occurred in the later Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.

The "secessionists" from Westminister initially held their meetings in some rooms of the Savoy Palace, which had been allocated to them by William III.  The Savoy Palace had had a very checkered history, and, at the time the Lutherans moved in, the whole district was mainly used as barracks and a military prison.  Therefore, the congregation was a neighbor to a very mixed lot of people, namely soldiers, seamen, prisoners of war, deserters, aristocrats, businessmen, respectable citizens, crooks, thieves, and prostitutes.  These were the inhabitants of the Savoy Palace in the Seventeen and Eighteenth Centuries.  The owner of the Savoy district, the Duchy of Lancaster, probably welcomed the Lutherans for the improvement in the respectability of the place.

The Savoy district had some advantages.  Since it belonged to the Duchy of Lancaster, and was directly under the Crown, it counted as extraparochial, and did not come under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London.  The "Savoy" had been home to French Protestants from 1660, to the Jesuits for a short time up to 1688, and, three years after the Lutherans, the German Reformed group also settled there.

On the 19th Sunday after Trinity (14 October 1694), the members consecrated the former Jesuit chapel in the Savoy Palace as their Church, St. Maryís.  Because of the history of the place the Church is sometimes known as St. Maryís le Savoy.  The first pastor was Master Irenaeus Crusius who remained with them for eleven years.  According to the first pew rental accounts, there were about 40 heads of households as members.  They dropped almost 8 pounds Sterling in the collection plate on Consecration Sunday.  Considering that the majority of the members were craftsmen, whose typical wage was 13 to 15 shillings a week, this was a good offering.
(07 Mar 05)



Nr. 2063:

In the last Note, it was stated that many members of St. Maryís were craftsmen who earned between 13 and 15 shillings a week.  About three decades late, the Robinson River Lutherans paid John Huffman two and a half shillings per day for carpentry work on a house for their new pastor, John Caspar Stoever.  This pay scale conforms well to the rate in London.

One of the early tasks for the members of St. Maryís was the drafting a Church Order which was read to the membership on September 9 in 1695.  This called for Divine Services on each Sunday, and Feast Day at 11 oíclock and at 6:30 in the evening .  Services were also to be held on the day following Christmas, Easter, and Whitsunday, in the morning.  During Lent, a weekday service was to be held during each week.  Also, services were to be held on public days of Penitence and Thanksgiving.  The order of service for morning and evening was spelled out in detail.

Membership was defined at Church attendance and the payment for a Church pew.  The rental of a Church pew qualified one to vote in elections of the pastor and the councillors.  Perhaps, some history in other congregations led the members to declare, "God is not a God of disorder but of peace.  As in all congregations of Godís people, let all be done decently and in order."  [Taken from 1 Corinthians.]

The biggest burden on the Church was the payment of the pastorís salary.  Initially, he started at 60 pounds per year, but he finished at 88 pounds per year.  This was a higher rate than many of the Anglican preachers.  For the church rental itself, they paid 8 pounds per year.

The successor to Crusius was Georg Andreas Ruperti, who started as pastor in 1706 and served until 1731.  After 1712, he also took the position of Associate Pastor of the German Court Chapel.  During Rupertiís time, George I of the Lutheran House of Hanover became King, which meant that a large number of German court officials came to London with their families.  Some of these people joined St. Maryís as the Court Chapel was too small for all the members of the Royal entourage.

Ruperti was a committed man who was supported by an energetic Church council.  In 1707, almost immediately after Ruperti came, they started a "school for poor children" which remained in existence until 1939.  Ruperti was the first teacher until an Assistant Pastor, Friedrich Strauss, was appointed in 1715 to relieve Ruperti of his teaching duties.

For an unknown reason, the congregation was locked out of the Church for about a month in 1712.  It took a Royal command to restore the Church to the congregation.  They welcomed the Royal warrant of George I in 1721, which guaranteed them the possession of the buildings and real estate in the Savoy.  With this they obtained the rights to a small piece of ground where they established a cemetery.
(08 Mar 05)



Nr. 2064:

The congregation at St. Maryís must have felt very pleased with the warrant of George I which restored the church to them.  It was not that George was partial or favorably inclined toward Lutheran thought, of which he was an adherent.  He was actually indifferent, by and large, to matters of religion, or even of government.  Most likely, it was the influence of Ruperti, the Pastor at St. Maryís and at the Court Chapel, which was the reason for the warrant.

Ruperti was energetic and his time at St. Maryís was marked by intensive building activity.  In 1708, renovations were made to the parsonage.  After obtaining the ground which became the cemetery, the church built a vault to which members of the Royal family contributed a nice sum.  At about the same time, a carriage way was constructed from the Strand for the benefit of the more affluent members.  In 1726, a subscription fund was opened for a new organ.  Also in 1726, the church obtained a new teacherís house as a result of a generous gift from the Princess of Wales, Caroline von Brandenburg-Ansbach.  She was the daughter-in-law of George I and a devout Lutheran who additionally showed deep interest in the German school.

Though all of these activities sound expensive, the financial condition of the Church was stabilized under Ruperti.  Part of the financial help came from the court officials who were involved with George I.  Still, finances were always tight and it had been necessary in 1712 to sell lottery tickets to pay Rupertiís salary.  By 1718 the church capital amounted to approximately 250 pounds which enabled them to buy government securities.  A generous windfall came from Johann Tietz, a longstanding church councillor, who left the congregation the sum of 300 pounds on his death, under the condition that a yearly memorial sermon be preached.

The staff had grown with an Assistant Pastor and a teacher.  Even though money was tight, the members of the Church responded to external needs.  They collected for two burned out English Churches in 1707, for the Lutherans in America, and for the building of Churches on the continent.

In May of 1709, Ruperti was appointed, as one of two Lutheran ministers, to help care for the hundreds of Germans arriving in London.  He was responsible for distributing financial aid among them.

As Germans passed through London, many of them found their way to St. Maryís, if they had the time to do so.  For the first years in the Eighteenth Century, it was customary for the Germans to find a ship from Rotterdam to London, and thence to find a ship to America.  One such group, who had more time in London than they really desired, was the 1717 Germanna emigrants.  Fortunately, their participation at St. Maryís is recorded in the Church Book.  We will look at the entries in the next note.
(09 Mar 05)



Nr. 2065:

Starting in August of 1717, there are Baptismal Records in St. Mary's that are of interest to Germanna historians.  I am not claiming that every name here is relevant but it is better to be more inclusive than exclude anyone.

August 4.  Born [to] Hanss Nicolay Weiss, a Pfaltzer, his baby boy, baptized on the 5th and named Juergen [i.e., George] Adam.  Sponsors: Juergen Meinach, Jurgen Meˇer, and Hanss Adam Rausch.  Mother's name Anna Cathrina.
[This one was of interest for having names that could be George Meyer and John Rausch.]

August 5.  Born [to] Johann Seitz, a Pfaltzer, his baby boy, baptized on the same day and named Johann Christoph.  Sponsors: Christopher Zimmerman, Hanss Juergen Scheibeler, and Magdalena Niederman.  Mother's name Anna Maria.
[Again, we have two names that are probably Germanna names, namely George Scheible and Christopher Zimmerman.]

August 29.  Born [to] Matthias Schmidt, a Pfaltzer, his baby boy, baptized on the 31st and named Johann.  Sponsors:  Johann Georg Forckel and Maria Sophia Steiner.  Mother's name Regina Cathrina.
[Matthew Smith and his wife were definitely Germanna citizens.]

August 29.  Born [to] Johann Georg Foerckel his baby girl, baptized on the 31st at the same time with the previous child and named Maria Barbara.  Sponsors:  Matthias Schmidt and Maria Barbara Weiland.  Mother's name Susanna.
[We have two definite Germanna citizens, Matthew Smith and Mary Barbara Wayland.]

September 8.  Born [to] Johann Michel Koch, a Pfaltzer, a small daughter, baptized on the 9th and named Maria Dorothea.  Sponsors: Henrich Schneider and Maria Eleanor Scheibel.  The mother's name Barbara.
[The last one is loaded with Germanna names, no less than five!  The birth date is firmly fixed for Dorothea Cook, who by her birth in London became an English citizen.]
(10 Mar 05)



Nr. 2066:

The current material for the Notes is based on an article in the last issue of Beyond Germanna.  The credit line for it reads, "Mielke-Yelton Research Team."  The source for the document is the Public Record Office (London), Class RG4/4625, and the Crown Copyright is reserved.  The information was actually copied at Westminister Archives by Sandra Yelton.  To their work, I added some editorial comments, so maybe I should get a little credit, but not much.

I failed to mention that in most of the baptisms reported in the last Note the officiating pastor was Ruperty (a "y" and "i" are generally interchangeable).  There was one two more records that I did not include in the last note.  They are:

September 21.  Married Michel Phillip Schrack and Anna Maria Niederman, both Pfaltzers.  By Ruperty.

September 30.  Married Christian Ringelsbach and Anna Maria Cruckenmeier, Pfaltzers, going to Pensylvanien.  By Ruperty.

Generally, but not always, the people are identified as Pfaltzers, even for some that we know who technically were not Pfaltzers (i.e., from the Palatinate or Pfalz).  The term Pfaltzer here means from "Germany".

In the last marriage above, on September 30, the parties are expressing the thought they hope to go to Pennsylvania.  Does this mean that the ship Scott with Capt. Tarbett as master has not yet left London?  The last record with a definite 1717 Virginia immigrant is September 8, when Maria Dorothea Koch is baptized.  The size of the party who emigrated with the known 1717 Colony members is quite a bit larger than we had ever suspected.  There are several names that clearly identified with the "1717" immigrants, but who did not get to Virginia in 1717.  These are names that we should remember when searching the German records.  These individuals perhaps did return to Germany, or were delayed in getting to Virginia, or did make it eventually to Pennsylvania.

Four consecutive signers on a petition for financial aid to return to Germany are Hans George Forchel, Christoph Uhl, Frederic Kapler, and Hans George Long.  The last three of these names are from Sulzfeld, where Christopher Zimmerman had been living.  Perhaps Forckel came from Sulzfeld also.  There is a Germanna name above who is not generally credited as a member of the 1717 group, and that is Maria Barbara Weiland (Wayland) whose husband was Thomas.
(11 Mar 05)



Nr. 2067:

Ruperti's careful administration of St. Mary's left a "well-ordered house" at the end of his pastoral term in 1731.  The Church had money to invest, and, while they tended to favor Bank of England securities, they did invest, in 1745, one hundred guineas in the East India Company.  There was a big increase in capital when Johan Michael Harnigk, a wealthy church member, left 1,280 pounds Sterling to the church at his death.  By 1765, the church capital amounted to 3,700 pounds.

Heinrich Werner Palm succeeded Ruperti and he stayed seven years.  His leaving left a bitter taste in the Church.  He took a chalice belonging to the church, and he left, for Germany, owing the congregation 30 pounds.  The church councillors were not about to forgive this debt and they threatened to sue him.  They did recover some of the money.

Palm was followed by Justus Christoph Bartheldes who remained two years.  His biggest problem was with the school, which was threatened with closure.  The current teacher was not gifted and many parents stopped sending their children to the school.  In 1740, the Church was promised 40 pounds a year from the Kingís purse which was kept up until 1883.

Bartheldes was succeeded by Johann Reichard Pittius.  He took an interest in the school.  The school question was clouded by a conflict between the councillors and the pastor.  To the councillors, the school was a nuisance and they were interested in the Church itself.  The pastors had a different outlook and they realized the future of the Church lay in an educated membership.  Remember that compulsory education in England did not come about for another 125 years.

After Pittius had obtained the councillor's consent to support the school, he next tried to negotiate a raise for himself but was not as successful in this.  When the Verger died in 1746, it was found that his wife had no financial means.  The council felt obligated to do something for her.  The care of the poor was always a problem in London.  The Poor Law, enacted during the reign of Elizabeth I, made it mandatory for Churches to care for the poor and to provide them with work.  St. Mary's had never been content with the rate set by law for caring for the poor, but had done better, especially for impoverished members.  The situation became better in 1756 when Johann Caspar Fechting left his fortune to the Church for caring for the poor who had been faithful Church members.

Another feature introduced by the time of Pittius was the annual collection for the East India Mission.  Perhaps the influence of Friedrich Michael Ziegenhagen, the Court Chaplin, was a major force.  He was interested in missions in America and in East India.  Historians have been surprised by the large amounts the Germans in London donated for missions.  They also helped build churches in Germany.
(14 Mar 05)



Nr. 2068:

George III of England reaffirmed the rights of the St. Mary's congregation in 1766.  That same year, they laid the cornerstone for a new Church in the Savoy Palace.  They thought big; the Church was designed to hold one thousand people.  At the same time, a subscription drive was started to raise the necessary funds.  Two wealthy merchants gave generous gifts.  The pastor and the councillors started making house visits to secure addition funds [sound familiar?].  The net result was that the initial payment of 800 Pounds to the builder could be made without touching the Church capital.

Within a year of the start of construction, Pastor Pittius died.  After his death, the councillors decided that in the election of a new pastor only members who had paid pew rents for two consecutive years could vote.  This was in the spirit of "keeping good order and avoiding confusion."  Unfortunately, a long dispute did arise between two contending men for the job.  Eventually the job went to Johann Gustav Burgmann, who was able to consecrate the new Church building in 1768.  Most of his initial energy was applied to the school but he soon found that the duties of a pastor involved many unpleasant and time-consuming duties.  After six years, Burgmann returned to Germany.  The Assistant Pastor Wolf took over, but he lasted only a year before he retired.

Several pastors had found that the congregation and, through them, the councillors, were very strong.  The next pastor, Adam Lampert, was elected with 247 of 340 votes.  This in itself shows how the church had grown.  The school was successful enough that two teachers had to be employed.  Though Lampert's time as pastor was successful, he died after four years.

To fill the vacant post of pastor quickly, the council wrote to the three universities of Goettingen, Strassburg, and Tuebingen in their search for a suitable candidate.  Previously the pastors had all come from the pietistic school in Halle.  Eventually the choice fell on Dr. Johann Gottlieb Burchhardt, a lecturer at the University of Leipzig.  In doing so, he became the most intellectual pastor St. Mary's had ever had.  He cast a critical eye over all of the Germans in London:

"The Germans who come to London to settle here are in double danger.  Either they stray on the path to disbelief through abuse of freedom, through seduction and a propensity to licence, and stop attending any church altogether ≠ or if the spark of religion which they brought with them from their German homeland is not yet lost completely and they wish to hear a sermon once in a while, they go from one church to another, cannot make sense of the different doctrines they get to hear and end up with doubts of enthusiasm."

(15 Mar 05)



Nr. 2069:

Who made up the congregation of St. Mary's?  According to some notes that I have for Hamburg Lutheran Church (which should be similar), I have these occupations:

Physician, surgeon, apothecary, merchant, shoemaker, chaplain, physician, coachman (to My Lord Portland), button maker, shoemaker, posement maker, watchman, Swedish resident, soldier, shoelapper, Envoy of Sweden, journeyman, laborer, goldsmith, shipper, silversmith, laceman, showman, bookkeeper, sugar boiler, periwig maker, spinet maker, quack doctor(?), day laborer, artist, jeweler, apothecary.

(I found nothing in the Hamburg Lutheran Church records pertaining to the Germanna Colonies.)

There was a Germanna connection to a resident of London.  The resident was Ralph Ladenberg who conducted a wine merchantís business there.  His sister lived in the Palatinate and three of her children emigrated to Virginia.  One of these was Johanna Friederika who married John Francis Lucas Jacoby in London in the parish of Saint Martins in the Fields on 16 Jul 1764.  Mr. Jacoby had been living in Virginia but returned to London for reasons that are not clear.  There he met Johanna Friederika Lotspeich who was probably living with her uncle Ralph Ladenberg.  We know quite a bit about the family because they have been found in the Palatinate and Mr. Ladenberg left a will in London in which he left most of his estate to the children of his sister.  Three of these were living in America (the poor executor had no small task!).

When I had first encountered this story with its marriage in London, I was suspicious.  Germans marry in Germany or in America but not in London.  A London Church and a date were cited and it sounded made up to me.  But after studying the Germans in England and their Churches I find the story plausible.

Now, back in Saint Mary's, Dr. Johann Gottlieb Burckhardt, who came as pastor in 1781, was very interested in the school and he reformed the rules for conducting the school.  He laid out a curriculum which included religion, history, geography, mathematics, and science, in addition to reading and writing, which had been the backbone of the school previously.  He even had classes in English (this from a man who complained of a lack of love for the Fatherland).

In 1792, Burckhardt considered that the Church Order was in need of revision.  It had existed for a hundred years without change.  One thing that Burckhardt wanted changed was the exclusion of the pastor for the meeting of the Council.  Even more than that, he wanted the pastor to be the permanent Chairman of the Council.  This did not go down too well.
(16 Mar 05)



Nr. 2070:

At St. Mary's, the pastor Burckhardt and the Church Council could not agree, and the feelings were strong; however, they maintained their respect for each other while continuing to live with the original charter for the Church.  (One of the reasons given by the Council was that they had some bound copies of the Church Order which had not been distributed yet.)  In his 20th year of service, Burckhardt died at the age of 49.  As an interim pastor, Ringeltaube of the Moravian church served for a while.  He was replaced by Dr. Steinkopff, who made a favorable impression in both German and English circles.  Like Burckhardt, he moaned over the tendency of the Germans to drift away from the German Church and German ways.

In 1817, large portions of Savoy Palace were pulled down.  The only remaining parts were the English Savoy church and the German St. Mary's.  The space was needed for Waterloo Bridge.  The Germans lost the parsonage and the school, but these were rebuilt by the government.  In 1828, the Church underwent intensive renovation.  George IV contributed 200 pounds toward this end.

For two months in 1848, Prince William of Prussia attended St. Mary's every Sunday while he was in exile from the revolutionary unrest in Prussia.  Twenty-three years later he became the first Emperor of the German Empire.

During Steinkopff's term, the school had from 70 to 80 children, a third of whom were girls.  Financially the school was doing very well, so well that it lent money to the Church which had some money problems.

The pattern at St. Mary's was for the children to be educated in the English way so that the second and third generation merge completely with the English.  The majority of the congregation was poor, though there were notable exceptions.  There were many single people.  As the Germans acquired material goods, they moved to the suburbs where they generally joined English Churches.

Steinkopff had served as pastor for almost 60 years when he died in his 87th year (in 1859).  He was an imposing figure, tall, slim, totally erect, always wearing a tailcoat and a high white necktie.  Though he appeared at a distance as stiff and distant, everyone agreed that he was friendly and warm.

Though the next pastor was well known to the Council for his work at St. Mary's, especially in the school, they followed the proscribed procedure in the Church Order which said they should hear at least three candidates.
(17 Mar 05)



Nr. 2071:

The successor of Steinkopff, Dr. Carl Wilhelm Schoell, served forty years as pastor, 1859 to 1899.  There were momentous events during his term.  First, there was a renovation of the Church building (this being the second space since the Church was founded).  The Duchy of Lancaster, under the control of the Crown, wished to demolish the whole of the Savoy Palace to gain space for building the Embankment.  It was several years before the plan was executed.  As a part of the project, the Crown was to erect some new buildings ≠ church, parsonage, school, and teacher's house ≠ for the congregation.  When the time for the move came, the congregation had to meet temporarily in a rented hall.  A suitable piece of ground was found on Cleveland Street in the West End and the promised buildings were built over a two-year period by 1877.  The cemetery at the Savoy was relocated to the Great Northern Cemetery.

Schoell ordered that the school teachers be trained in a German teacher's training college except for the instructors in the English language work.  In 1884 he introduced the school outing and a Christmas tree for the pupils complete with small presents for them.  Later school prizes were awarded at Easter time.

Schoell preached the 200th anniversary sermon.  While he lauded their many accomplishments, he noted that the children had become more English than the English themselves.  Again, there was an appeal not to forget the Fatherland.  A few years later Schoell died in the post of pastor.

The successor to Schoell, Friedrich Wilhelm Carl Wardenberg, had been the pastor of the German congregation in Liverpool for a few years.  One of his first observations was that the cost of living in London was much higher than in Liverpool.  He agitated for an increase in the salary which had been fixed at 300 pounds per year.  Because inflation had hit Great Britain around the turn of the century, the Church Council relented and gave him a small increase.

In 1904, a lively topic of discussion is whether all of the German Lutheran Churches in Great Britain should unite.  Late that year, the school was inspected by Prof. Dr. Muench from Berlin.  As a result of the inspection, several serious physical problems in the plant were noted.  To continue receiving a grant from the German Emperor, these had to be remedied.

There was an annual conference of the German Evangelical Pastors in Great Britain.  In 1904, Wardenberg spoke against the federation of the German Churches.  As one of the oldest congregations, they feared the loss of her independence.  A year later, they did join the federation.  Also, in 1904 the Church celebrated its 25th anniversary in the Church building.  At the celebration meeting in the Church, more than one thousand Germans attended.
(18 Mar 05)



Nr. 2072:

In 1908, the school associated with St. Mary's Church celebrated its 200th anniversary.  At this time it had 110 pupils and 4 teachers.  The week-long celebration drew many notables from both England and Germany.  In 1913, the school had expanded to 140 pupils, of whom only 95 were German.  The others were English who were attracted by the quality of education.  One strong feature was the bilingual education.  The school claimed that its graduates always obtained good positions.

In the Church itself, Pastor Wardenberg estimated that about two thousand Germans identified themselves with the Church, though less than one hundred (heads of households) were pew holders, i.e., they paid a rent on a pew.

In 1911, around 70,000 Germans lived in England, with more than a half of these in the Greater London area.  In 1914, there were ten Protestant German congregations in London.

A decisive turning point for the Germans in Britain was the outbreak of the First World War.  Neighbors suddenly turned into enemies.  The English were gripped by "Germanophobia".  Up to November of 1919, 23,571 Germans were repatriated.  Pastor Wardenberg took on the functions that had been performed by the German consulate, but he had to leave 23 April 1915.  St. Mary's fell on very hard times.  The English harassed the Church members and intimidated them.

St. Mary's school was the only German school that was permitted to remain open during the war.  At the end of the war, the Church was a shell of its former self.  To meet its pressing financial needs, the church building was rented to the Wesleyans for shared use.  The school fared a little better, but during the war it had attracted Jewish and Catholic children.  The return to a strictly Lutheran school was delayed.  In 1932, when a school inspector came from Germany, he denounced the school as not being German.  This was important as the school received financial aid from Germany.

The Church itself began to return in 1927 to what it had been.  By 1932 the six German Protestant congregations in London had been restored to between 250 and 500 members each.  A new phase in their history begins about this last date which will have to wait for the next note for discussion.
(21 Mar 05)



Nr. 2073:

St. Mary's Church in London, as with most of the German Churches in England, maintained their independence from the Church bodies in Germany, even while they were associated with Church groups in Germany.  They did accept financial aid from the German government in the 1930s and this was to haunt them.  The German government influenced the Church bodies and, through them, the Germans attempted to influence the Churches who were abroad.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer attempted to alert the congregations in England of the dangers that lurked behind the phrases in Germany such as "German Christians", "heroic Jesus", "positive Christianity", and "reawakened German life".  The statements were made by the leaders who were affiliated the German state.  It was these individuals who wanted to insert the word "Ayran" into the Church documents.  Even more, they wanted to require that members be Ayran and not married to non-Ayran people.

The English congregations were aroused and spoke against the proposals.  The Church Council at St. Mary's passed the following resolution:

"The undersigned church council hereby declares unanimously that it refuses to recognize the present church government now presided over by Reichsbishop Ludwig Mueller.  For St. Mary's German Lutheran Church a church government which denies in its aims and methods the most elementary principles of the Evangelical faith is no longer acceptable.  The church council further notes that the un-Evangelical actions of the Reich church government during the last 18 months have immensely damaged the reputation of the German Reich abroad. . . ."

The Church Council at St. Mary's refused their facilities to groups of German youths on the grounds that it was not feasible to move the furniture due to the labor and the expense involved.

The number of pupils in the school fell drastically, especially of children of German nationals.  The German office overseeing foreign schools felt that the number of pupils was so low at St. Mary's that it, the office, could no longer warrant the payment of any fees to help the Church.  The end result was that the school was closed in 1939.  At this time the number of pupils was only 18.

During this time, many exiles from Germany in England found a comfortable reception and home in the German congregations.  They became very active and made a contribution to the life and work of the Churches.
(22 Mar 05)



Nr. 2074:

When War World II broke out for Great Britain in September of 1939, many Germans in England were painfully reminded of 1914.  Many people from Germany were seeking shelter and a safe haven in England.  There was an uncertainty for a period as to how to classify these people.  Were they friendly or were they enemies?  The refugees tended to be strongly anti-Nazi.  They viewed the war not so much as Germany vs. Britain but as an international war against fascism.  They were not afraid to stand up for German culture, language, and Church.  They saw these elements as being threatened by the Third Reich.  The older members of St. Mary's were unable to distinguish between the Nazi regime and the German people.  They understood anti-Nazi views as being against the German people.

All in all, no collective hatred towards Germans broke out in Britain in 1939 in contrast to the First World War.  The British people saw there was a difference between the Nazi and the non-Nazi.  There were friendly aliens and enemy aliens.  The English clergy was helpful as they too distinguished between the two groups and urged support for the German clergy in England who stood against the Nazi.  Some of the German pastors who had been interred in the first weeks of the war were released.

At the outbreak of the war, St. Mary's had about 80 members.  Though their pastor had been interred and had been released, he was again interred in 1940.  A second blow came during the air raids when incendiary bombs utterly destroyed the Church of St. Mary's and the school.  Max Loeffler, the treasurer, was a powerful force for keeping the spirit of St. Mary's alive.  He managed to visit the old and sick parishioners.  Loeffler contacted Dr. Hans-Herbert Kramm, who had a refugee congregation in Oxford.  To begin with, Kramm preached every fortnight in London's St. Mary's Church in the bomb damaged former teacher's house.  The Church gained several new members under the very trying circumstances.  Kramm's pulpit was built from plywood by prisoners of war for whom he was responsible.  A football trophy, which Parish Worker Ursula Behr had discovered in a second hand dealer's shop, served as the communion cup.

Kramm was officially elected pastor by the congregation in March of 1943.  At his installation service, the Bishop of London (the future Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher) and all of the German ministers, plus representatives of several other of the free Churches, were present.  Kramm took note of the diverse international audience and preached his sermon in English.  He recognized that St. Mary's was no longer a parochial church but was international and to be identified with all Lutheran churches.  A response by an English clergyman gave thanks for all those in Germany who had remained faithful to Christianity.  Several people from Oxford, who were familiar with the work of Pastor Kramm, came to join St. Mary's.
(23 Mar 05)



Nr. 2075:

After World War II, St. Mary's Church faced a new set of problems.  Of course, they had to operate without having a Church building of their own.  There were prisoners of war for which they were responsible, many new arrivals from Germany seeking jobs, German women who had married British soldiers, POWs who wished to remain in England, and so-called volunteer workers from Germany.  All of these had to be integrated into the congregation.

Pastor Kramm, who had maintained pastoral duties in Oxford while also serving St. Mary's, gave up his Oxford work, but took on the Hamburg Lutheran Church in London along with St. Mary's.  Because the Hamburg Lutherans still had their Church building, Kramm preached every Sunday there, but only every other Sunday in St. Mary's.  These latter services were held in a meeting room, but the center for the Church was a home generously left by a Quaker lady, Dorothy Buxton.

Organizing the Lutheran Churches in England was a concern for Kramm because about 45,000 Lutheran refugees from the continent had fled to England.  To help cope with these additional people, who had very little money in general, the Lutheran Council of Great Britain was formed.

At St. Mary's, a pressing problem was finding a new building.  They obtained an old mission chapel which was consecrated as the new St. Mary's Church building in November of 1949.  Thereafter, services were held every Sunday.  Once a month, the services were held in English for the benefit of the mixed families.

The next most pressing problem was financial.  The Church was in debt.  The councillors decided on a program of stewardship to try and make each member family recognize their obligations for the health of the congregation.  A budget was voted on each year and members were asked to pledge an amount which was to be paid weekly in date stamped envelopes.  Some one-time financial help was obtained as war damage payments.

The once-a-month English service was insufficient to meet the needs of the many Lutherans who were in London from all around the world.  St. Mary's decided to give birth to a daughter congregation where services would be entirely in English.  The English and German services alternated in being in the morning and afternoon.  A few years later (in 1956) the St. Mary's English Lutheran Church became officially independent and took the name St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church.  This Church today uses the St. Anne and St. Agnes Church built by Christopher Wren (near St. Paul's Cathedral).  Since 1988, it has called itself St. Anne's Evangelical Lutheran Church.
(24 Mar 05)


(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 EIGHTY-THIRD set of Notes, Nr. 2051 through Nr. 2075.)

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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 2051 through 2075.

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