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This is the NINETY-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 2301 through 2325.

GERMANNA History Notes
Page 93

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Nr. 2301:

At the start of each "century" in these Notes, it is customary to write a little about what they are all about.  After 2,300 notes, I have covered many subjects and some of them seem to have little direct relationship to the Germanna Colonies for which a strict, narrow definition is not very broad.

Recently, we talked a bit about DNA and its application.  What we said was general enough to have application to all nationalities.  In our case, the intention was to better understand the Germanna Thomas family.  There, the use of DNA was very effective to establish that there was a relationship between different branches of the Thomas family.  This was a major accomplishment in that family’s research.

So it is with many of the subjects that are discussed here.  In some cases they are broad enough to have value beyond the narrow interpretation of Germanna.

Germanna itself is a geographical locality, once a county seat of Spotsylvania.  Before that, it was a frontier fort in Virginia.  After the county seat moved, Germanna remained a commercial center for a while, until it faded into oblivion.  It has been renewed as a center by the presence of Germanna Community College (Locust campus), and by the Visitor’s Center of the Germanna Foundation.  We are interested in Germanna because the first settlers of Germanna, when it was a fort, were Germans.

These first Germans were augmented loosely by additions.  The second group lived just a few miles outside the fort and would have been familiar with the it.  Later, when Germanna was the county seat of Spotsylvania, many of these Germans attended court at Germanna.  Then, to these early Germans, there were additional people, many of whom were friends and relatives of those already there.  It becomes too hard to define a strict set of "Germanna" Germans and so we (at least I do) define all Germans in this geographical area of several counties as "Germanna Colonists".

Where is Germanna?  It is along Virginia State Highway 3 (called the Germanna Highway), which runs between Frederickburg and Culpeper, about half way between those two towns.  Of course, there were no towns and roads when Fort Germanna was built in 1714.  The site of Germanna can be located more exactly by noting that it was on the Rapidan River, the southern branch of the Rappahannock River.  From this spot, the region to the immediate north and west has become, in time, the extended Germanna area.  This takes us almost to Warrenton in present day Fauquier County, and to the "Great Mountains" (now known as the Blue Ridge Mountains).
(28 Apr 06)



Nr. 2302:

When Johann Georg Utz married Anna Barbara, the widow of Michael Volck of Wagenbach, at Hueffenhardt, the pastor of the Hueffenhardt church made a note that the banns had been proclaimed in Mosbach.  This was an intriguing reference because Mosbach is a larger village not far from Hueffenhardt, though it is across the Neckar River.  So this Mosbach comes to mind immediately; however, there is another Mosbach which might be the intended one.  This second one is in Bavaria, just over the line from Wuerttemberg.  It is of interest because so many of Utz family have records in the church in the Mosbach near Wuerttemberg .  There is a series of about four villages around Mosbach where the Utz family lived.  Two or three of these villages had no church and the residents went to church in Mosbach.  This raises the possibility that this second Mosbach (near Wuerttemberg) was the one intended as the reference in Mosbach.

I assumed that the Mosbach closer to Hueffenhardt was the intended one and did a search in some of the closer villages to see if I could find any mentions that would bear on the marriage of George Utz and Anna Barbara Majer Volck.  In particular, I would have expected some mentions of Majers.  The search was unsuccessful.  What amazed me was that the names to be found in the registers were so un-Germanna like.  It was as though I was in a different country.  While I did look at several villages, it was not an exhaustive search.  Now I am wondering if the Bavarian Mosbach might be the one intended.

In the year 2002, Eleanor and I visited these villages for a few hours.  (Incidentally, the general setting is very pretty.)  At Berngerzell, where Johann Georg (Hans Jorg) Utz was born, I asked a man if there were any Utzes there.  He laughed, went into a local tavern, came back with a local telephone book, and showed me a page-full of Utzes.  [Pictures of these villages are shown in our CD, the Photo Essay of Germany and Austria.]

On the way from Gemmingen, where we had stayed, to Bavaria, we stopped at the villages Willsbach and Waldbach, where the Wielands were from.  Then a little farther along we visited Schaibach where Johann Christian Schultz was born.  He was the man who ordained the John Caspar Stoevers, father and son, and performed the wedding of the son.  Schaibach is a very small village with a lovely but very small chapel.  Then we went on to the five villages in Bavaria where the Utz family has a history.

We next proceeded a short distance to Illenschwang which has the church which Andreas Gaar attended.  We stayed a couple of miles away in Wittelshofen, where my sixth cousin Friedrich Gaar lives.

This is one of the things that I love about Germany.  It isn’t far from one thing of interest to another one.
(01 May 06)



Nr. 2303:

In a recent note, I discussed the Harts of Culpeper County, Virginia, during the Eighteenth Century.  In the 1781 Culpeper Classes, there is a Leonard Hart in Class 96, along with several German names such as Weaver, Wilhoit, Razor (x2), Barlow, Huffman (x2), and Clore.  There are no Harts in the 1787 Property Tax list for Culpeper County.  There are no Harts in the "Hebron" Baptismal Register but they do appear in the Communion Lists for that church.  The first mention is for Valentine and Anna Maria Hart in 1776, and the last is 1784 for Valentine, his wife A(nna) Maria, and Elisabetha Hart.  Eva Susanna Margaret Hart is said to have married Michael Thomas (son of Johann Thoma and Anna Maria Blankenbuehler) as his second wife.  Michael and Eva moved to southwestern Pennsylvania in the 1770 time frame.  Probably the Harts were in Culpeper County by the 1760s and left between 1784 and 1787.  The reason that the Harts do not appear in the Communion Lists before 1775 is that this was the first year the communion lists were kept.  If the children of Valentine and Anna Maria were born before they moved to Culpeper County, there would be no records in the Baptismal Lists.  Moses Hart was confirmed in 1782 at the age of 17, so he was born about 1765.  Perhaps the Harts arrived in this time frame.

Jim Albin sent information which might explain what happened to the Harts after 1784.  He had information from Earl Brook who was hiking in Wythe County and came upon two grave stones northeast of Wythesville on the Dr. Zigler land off Stringtown Road.  The stones give the following information: Mary Hart, Oct 7 1775, Apr 29 1862, Valentine Hart, Sep 3 1769, Sep 21 1859

I believe that these are the only two stones and so they are collectively known as the Valentine Hart Cemetery in Wythe County, Virginia.  (Wythe County was formed in 1789.)  What made this story so interesting to me is that relatives of Michael Thomas moved to Wythe County.  This was Zacharias Blankenbeckler, the son of Zacharias, the son of Johann Nicholas Blankenbuehler.  Johann Nicholas was the brother of Anna Maria Blankenbuehler, who was the mother of Michael Thomas.  Thus, Zacharias Blankenbeckler (Jr.) was a first cousin once removed to Michael Thomas, who married Eva Susanna Margaret Hart.  It is a possibility that the Harts and Blankenbecklers (or Blankenbakers) were connected and, in the move to Wythe County, one family influenced the other.

I might also mention that Valentine Hart and wife A. Maria sat next to John Blankenbuechler and his wife Barbara at the 1784 communion service.  Also, when Moses Hart was confirmed in 1782 the name next to him was Thomas Blankenbeker.
(02 May 06)



Nr. 2304:

I have mentioned Zacharias (or Zachariah) Blankenbeckler, who moved from Culpeper County to what became Wythe County, both in Virginia.  The primary researcher of the Blankenbeckler family is Hallie Price Garner who had garnered (no pun intended) information on about 10,000 descendants of Zachariah, even though she has been frustrated on some of his daughters.  At one time she planned on publishing a book with her research but the market response from the descendants was poor so she has postponed publication.  We are currently discussing more economical means of publication so that her research will not be lost.

If you have information that should be included in any publication of this nature, Hallie would like to learn more about it.  Please contact me and I can give you her email address and her USPS address.  Or if you are interested in any future publication, please let Hallie know.

[I have a soft spot in my heart for Hallie.  So far as I know, she is the first American to visit Gresten, Austria, the home of the Blankenbichlers (Planckenbichler, Plankenbuehlers, Blankenbuehlers, et al).  This encouraged Eleanor and me to visit on two succeeding occasions with very favorable results.]

I gave the Hart information that I have shared here recently to Hallie.  She notes that she has seen Harts mentioned in the New River region where Zachariah lived.  She adds that she has at least three Blankenbeckler women who married Harts in the early part of the last century (by which I assume that she means the 1800's but it would matter little if it were the 1900's).  She says that her research has shown certain families constantly intermingle (marry), while other families never seem to be involved with each other.

In the New River area, I mentioned the grave of Valentine Hart who was born September 3, 1769.  There was some evidence that Michael Thomas had married Eva Susanna Margaret Hart before this time, so Valentine, Jr., should have been born in the Culpeper area (later Madison County).  Is this evidence that Valentine, Jr., was not born in Culpeper, since he does not appear in the "Hebron" Baptismal Records which seem to cover this period?  In the rewrite of the Baptismal Register about 1774 or 75, there were certain (implied) rules.  One is that no family was included if it was not complete up to the time of the rewrite.  Every family who is included in this rewrite seems to be complete up to that time.  I have found no exceptions to this.  Whoever was doing the rewrite may have said that he would wait until there was complete information.  If he left the community (which is what Andreas Mielke believes) the job may never have been completed.  So it does not worry me that Valentine, Jr., does not appear in the Baptismal Register.
(03 May 06)



Nr. 2305:

Marilyn Hansen sent some information on the naturalization of John Thomas.  Her report differs slightly from what I have.  I have some suspicions as to how these might have arisen, but I do not have the final answer.  I will give what Elke Hall and I found and reported in Beyond Germanna on pages 716 to 718.

Some of the naturalizations which were made at Williamsburg were sent along to England after the Secretary of Virginia registered the names for reference.  Of the records that were sent to England, many of them were reported in the journal Huguenot Society, Quarto Series, vol. XXIV, 1921, by M.S. Giuseppi as "Naturalizations of Foreign Protestants in the American and West Indian Colonies".  This secondary work is the reference with which most people are familiar.  To see the original documents, copies were obtained by Elke from the National Archives in Surry, England, under some restrictive terms.

These records are from the Public Record Office in England but are kept in the National Archives in Kew, Richmond, Surry.  The records are filed in the series known as CO5/1326.  The CO5 series consists of 1450 bundles and volumes and includes the Board of Trade and Secretaries of State, American and West Indies, Original Correspondence for the years 1606 to 1822.  More specifically, the naturalizations here are in Piece Title V, Nos. 36-110 under the Header Title "Virginia" with the sub-header title "Correspondence, Original, Board of Trade, 1743-1747".  There are restrictions on the reproduction and use of the information.  Elke paid a special fee for the right to publish the information one time in Beyond Germanna.  She may make a copy for a researcher if is not published and she does not charge for the information.  If anyone wants to publish the page or pages as a part of their research, they must ask permission from the Public Record Office in London.  As you can see, I must be slightly restrictive in reporting the information so as not to violate the agreement with the PRO.  [As I remember some other work with the PRO, the term "reproduction" was never clearly defined, but it clearly would include photocopies, and transcriptions of selections were never clearly defined.]

In the approximate one year period, 20 Oct 1744 to 15 Oct 1745, seventeen Germanna citizens were naturalized along with four other Germans (probably from the Shenandoah Valley).  On 19 Apr 1745, Zachariah Blankenbecker, John Thomas, Henry Ahlar [Aylor], and John Zimmerman were naturalized.  The first two were "Natives of Nienberg [Neuenbuerg] in the Bishoprick of Spire", Ahlar was a native of "Wirtemberg" [Wuerttemberg], and Zimmerman was a native of "Sultzfeld"[Sulzfeld].  All four of these individuals were related by marriage or blood.  All of these individuals used Form A (to be explained later).
(04 May 06)



Nr. 2306:

At the start of the Eighteenth Century, the status of foreigners in Virginia was cloudy.  The Huguenots who were settled on the James River had been admitted by special legislation.  When the First Germanna Colony came in 1714, Lt. Gov. Spotswood was nervous because he seemed to admitting foreigners at a time when there was no clear policy.  He thought it was a good idea, but he lacked a clear policy on the subject.  He asked for clarification, but it appears that none was given him.  He assumed then that it was OK.  By 1716, he was notifying Captains of ships that he wanted a boat load of Germans to settle on his land.  (This resulted in the Second Colony.)

From time to time, the methods for naturalization changed.  We know that in 1722 Spotswood personally naturalized two Germanna people, Jacob Holtzclaw and Nicholas Yager.  In addition to this method, which was not widely used, one could go to the County Courts or Williamsburg.  By 1744, Parliament had specified that one of two forms was to be used.  Form A was for the general populace.  The wording of the form varied slightly but in general it read:

"At a General Court held at the Capitol (date), (name(s)) of (place) who have resided in this Colony upwards of seven years last past and have not been absent out of the same the space of two Months at any one Time came into Court between the Hours of Nine and Twelve in the Forenoon and produced Certificates of their having received the Sacrament of the Lords Supper according to the Act of Parliament in that Case lately made and provided and then took and subscribed the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy the Oath appointed by an Act of Parliament made in the first Year of the Reign [1714-15] of his late Majesty King the first Intituled [Entitled] "an Act for the further Security of his Majesty’s Person and Government and the Succession of the Crown in the Heirs of the late Princess Sophia being Protestant and for extinguishing the Hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales and his open and Secret Abettors" and made repeated and subscribed the Declaration thereby also appointed in order to be their being Naturalized."

Form B for the special benefit of the Quakers was similar, except there was no requirement for Communion and there was no reference to Oaths, merely that those naturalized "affirmed", instead of taking an oath.  This had been permitted by an Act in the eighth year of the reign of the late Majesty King George the First and included a reference to an earlier Act in the reign of King William and Queen Mary.  Since most Quakers were English, it would seem to me that they did not require naturalization.

One form or statement in the court records might be used for several people who came at the same time, lived in the same place, and had taken Communion together.  There was no requirement that this Communion had been in an Anglican church.  The Germans could have taken Communion in their own church.
(05 May 06)



Nr. 2307:

We had four names of Germanna people who were naturalized on 19 April 1745 using Form A.  The men were Zachariah Blankenbecker, John Thomas, Henry Ahlar, and John Zimmerman.  Let me digress for a moment to show the power of association.  These were not four random names, as they were related by blood or marriage.

Zachariah Blankenbecker and John Thomas were first cousins.  Zachariah’s father was John Nicholas Blankenbuehler, whose sister, Anna Maria, married John Thomas [Sr.].  Then, John Thomas’ sister, Margaret, married Henry Aylor, so John and Henry were brothers-in-law.  Finally, John Zimmerman married Ursula Blankenbuehler, the sister of Zachariah, so these two men were also brothers-in-law.  Given any two of them, there was a relationship.  For example, John Zimmerman and Henry Aylor had wives who were first cousins.

It was not too many years ago that the true name of Henry Aylor’s wife was discerned.  Margaret Thomas was mentioned in her stepfather’s will as Margaret Collier.  We should have been alerted to the poor spelling in general in Michael Kaefer’s will that Collier may not have been correct.  Unfortunately, it was close to an associated name in the larger German community, so that we were misled.  It was not until Nancy Dodge put all the pieces together that we saw that Collier was a mistake for Aylor.

On the same day (19 April 1745), two of the Willheit men went to Williamsburg for naturalization.  They appear together on one Form (A) as Tobias Wilhoid and John Wilhoid, where they said they were natives of the Electorate of Mentz in Germany.  It has always bothered me that they said they were natives of Mentz.  As is so often the case when we read the name of a German locality written by an Englishman, there isn’t any such place.  The closest we can come is Menz, which would be pronounced as Mentz, but the two villages named Menz in Germany are too far away to be valid.  There is a close call in Mainz, which is on the Rhine River, where someone from Schwaigern would have passed on the way to Rotterdam and the New World.  The Willheit family could have stopped in Mainz on their way (it was not unusual for a family to pause for a short period at an intermediate point).  If one of the men had been born there, he would have been a citizen and native of Mainz.  The fact that both of them said they were natives of Menz could easily be attributed to a general misunderstanding between the Germans and the English.

On the same day that all of the above appeared, Peter Fleshman appeared and he merely said that he was a native of Germany.  In more detail, he came from Neuenbuerg and it is surprising that he did not appear on the same form with Zachariah Blankenbecker et al, since Peter was an uncle of Zachariah, though of about the same age.  Peter could also have said that he was a "native of Nienberg in the Bishoprick of Spire".
(08 May 06)



Nr. 2308:

Recently, I was browsing in the “House Family” book which had been originally published in 1972 by the late Susie House Cooper.  This book was sold out before 1990 and it was retyped by Gary Lee House in December 1991 and updated in 2004.  I happened to notice an error in the Blankenbaker history on page 108. In writing about Susannah (Susan) House, who married Joel Blankenbaker in 1795 in Culpeper County, Virginia, it notes that Joel was the sixth child of Lewis Blankenbaker and Susannah Utz.

The errors that were made were in the statement that, “Lewis was the fourth child of Matthias Blankenbaker, the 1717 immigrant to Virginia and Mary Utz.”  There are two errors in this statement.  Lewis was actually the son of Christopher Blankenbaker and his wife Christina Finks.  Christopher was the son of the 1717 Matthias.  Also, this 1717 Matthias did not marry Mary Utz.  He had married (Anna) Maria Mecklin (or Mercklin) in Germany.  They were the parents of George, Christopher, and John.

Probably, this error was made by Susie House Cooper in the original book.  This was before the extensive research by Gary Zimmerman and Johni Cerny into the church records in Germany.  Their extensive research clarified several relationships; however, there are a few errors in their work.
(17 May 06)



Nr. 2309

I have a clipping describing early Eighteenth-Century farming in Chester County, Pennsylvania, but, with adaptions, it seems to be appropriate for Virginia.  The original tracts were mostly woodland and the average size of the first patents and grants were in the hundreds of acres.  A man could clear about two acres of land a year.  To do so, he would fell the trees and burn a lot of the wood, brush, and stumps.  By the time a man died, he might have fifty acres cleared.  Even this much land would be too much for one man to farm.  The additional labor would be supplied by children and slaves.

The major crops were tobacco, corn, and the grains.  The first was a cash crop, the second was a food, and the third was food and perhaps a cash crop.  Some farmers were heavily into orchards, especially apples, which could be used in the raw, dried, or liquid forms.  The first stage of the liquid was cider.  Some people with stills turned the apple juice into hard liquors for use and sale.

Farming equipment was very primitive.  Estate inventories lacked many of the implements which we take for granted.  A primitive plow from wood could be used to scratch the ground.  Harrows and drags, again from wood, would be used to break up some of the clods.  The power for pulling the implements was usually done by oxen (cattle), and seldom by horses.  Grain seeding was done by broadcasting by hand.  The return at the end of the season was only a small multiple of the seed planted.  Corn seed and tobacco plants were set out individually and throughout the growing season, cultivation was done by hoes to keep the weeds down and the soil loose.

The grain was usually cut with a sickle.  Children, if available, would gather the loose grain into bundles and tie them together with more of the grain.  These would be allowed to dry slightly in the field and then they would be taken into the barn for storage.  Threshing did not occur until the winter time as there was not enough time in the summer and fall to do this.  The flail, two pieces of wood which were loosely joined, was used to thresh the small grains.  One part was a handle and the other was the part which struck the grain on the floor or ground.  After the seed was knocked out of the head, everything would be gathered up and tossed into the air where the wind would blow the straw (chaff) away, while the grain fell back to the ground to be gathered up.

The harvesting of the grain in the summer was very labor intensive, requiring help from all of the members of the family.  Even the smallest could help by providing liquids to the hard-working people.  To take the grain to the barn, a sled could be used pulled by the oxen.  Wagons were much scarcer than we would imagine.

After the land was cleared, nearly all of the farming could be done with wooden instruments.  During the clearing of the land, the axe and the saw were very important.
(18 May 06)



Nr. 2310:

What animals did the Germanna Colonists have in the beginning in Virginia?  It appears that Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood furnished the colonists with cattle.  We know that the First Colony seemed to have beef because John Fontaine states in his history of the trip to Germanna that Rev. Haeger gave the visitors some beef to eat.  The term of Spotswood’s ventures seems to be that he placed cattle with people who leased land from him.  The terms were that the increases in the cattle were divided between Spotswood and the people who cared for the animals.  By this means the Germans could have earned the right to keep half of the increase.  (I have sometimes wondered if this might have been part of the basis for the lawsuits brought by Spotswood against members of the Second Colony.  Perhaps some of them could not return even the number of cows that Spotswood had placed with them.)

In Germany, the ratio of cows to horses was high.  That is, there were many more cows than horses.  On the farm, the cow was not only a producer of milk, but was a draft animal.  In Beyond Germanna, there was a tax list for Trupbach in the year 1566 (vol. 13, n.1, p. 726; see the web page www.germanna.com also).  Among the seventeen living units, there are six horses and one colt.  The number of cows, heifers, and beeves were ninety-nine.  In the book Ortsgeschichte Trupbach (History of Trupbach), pictures show that in the middle of the last century (the 1900's) that cattle were still a primary source of power for farming.

We have another input into the source of the power for farming in the Germanna communities.  The 1787 Personal Property Tax List for Culpeper County gives some examples:

Harmon Fishback, 3 horses and 6 cows
Zachariah Fleshman, 3 horses and 7 cows
Peter Fleshman, 1 horse and 1 cow
Adam Delph, 2 horses and 2 cows
Andrew Deer, 2 horses and 6 cows
Peter Clore, 3 horses and 10 cows
Joseph Utterback, 1 horse and 4 cows

Most of the horses above were probably for riding and not for draft work.  Today in the Pennsylvania “Dutch” country, the Amish use mules for field work and lighter horses for pulling the buggies.  An item in the 1787 Tax List was “carriage wheels”.  One has to look hard in the tax list for mentions of carriages or similar items.  Mordecai Barbour had a four-wheeled stage wagon, Laurence Slaughter has a phaeton, Rev. James Stevensons had a post chaise, and these were men on the upper end of the economical and social scene.  I had to look over several pages to find these examples.  I would conclude that wheeled vehicles were rare.  Perhaps the two-wheel farm wagons were not taxed, but these were probably not numerous.  Getting to church was not easy.
(19 May 06)



Nr. 2311:

Winter time activities on the farm included threshing, butchering, cutting wood, and manuring and clearing land.  (There was always something to do!)  Threshing was done by the flail, which knocked the grain out of the head and made lots of straw.  Chaff and dirt had to be removed and this was done by tossing shovels full against the wind which blew the straw away while the grain fell.  Finally, it might be passed through a woven sieve to remove the finer bits of trash and dirt.

The grains that were raised included wheat, corn, rye, barley, oats, spelt*, and buckwheat.  Corn was primarily an animal food, but it was also useful for human consumption.  It was more tolerant of the harvesting time as it could stand in field without damage.  Wheat was often sold as it was the grain most in demand in the towns.  Typically the farmer might sell the whole grain to the miller who made flour and sold this.  The harvesting time of the smaller grains was more critical and was labor intensive.

If the price of wheat (flour) was high, the farmers tended to sell it and use rye for making bread for their own use.  White bread was not common on the farm; heavier and darker breads were more common.  Barley was used for making malt, which is used in making whisky and beer.  Barley might even be used for bread.  Oats were primarily for animal food for fattening cattle and horses.

In Virginia, the primary cash crop was tobacco.  This was even more labor intensive than the grains.  The seeds had to be planted in well prepared seed beds.  (One thimble full would yield more tobacco plants than one family could care for.)  Late in May the young plants were transplanted to the fields and watered when transplanted.  Then one was at the mercy of the weather during the growing season which was relatively short, principally June, July, and part of August.  Not only was the farmer dependent on the weather, he had to be on the alert for insects which might ravage the plants.  If there was a bad case of caterpillars (Tobacco Worms, which are the larvae of the Hawk or Sphinx Moth) on the plants, the cure was to pick them off by hand and burn them.  The plants were cut in August and dried.  When they were dry, the leaves were stripped off and packed in barrels.  (The business of being a cooper was good, as Virginia often sent 30,000 barrels of tobacco to England.)

What is amazing is that all of this was done with a minimum of tools.  Some of the major hand tools were the axe, shovel, the crosscut saw, a drill, and perhaps chisels.  From these, the farmer could clear the land make the things needed.

If they lacked what would seem to us to be essential elements, they found alternatives.  When the first Germans settled at Schoharie in New York, they made plows from tree trunks where a limb grew.  For motive power they gathered vines and connected these to the plow.  Then the women pulled the plow.

[This is not a part of the note above but an explanation of why I will not on the net for several days.  Two family events will take us in and out of home for about two weeks.  So I can’t promise there will be any Notes during this time.]
(22 May 06)

[*SPELT--An ancient grain grown as long ago as 5000 B.C.  For more information, go to the Spelt official website.]



Nr. 2312:

David Schultz, a farmer in Pennsylvania in 1750, kept a diary of his daily activities.  Here are some of the highlights of the year by month.

January:  threshed grain, made a log sled, winnowed grain, manured the stables, cleared forest land, finished threshing wheat (and got 87 bushels in all), butchered a calf, hemp plucked, carried firewood, cut wood, nailed clapboards on, and butchered the old sow.

February:  manured the stables, finished threshing grain, butchered a calf, oats threshed, manured the stables, cleansed the oats, threshed grain.

March:  threshed oats, cleansed 16 bushels of oats for seed, made rails, wood carried, cut more rails, cleaned the stables, made rails, kitchen garden fence repaired [to keep the animals out], plucked the hemp, made rails, sowed 100 perches with flaxseed, sowed two more quarters with flaxseed.

April:  1 ½ acres of oats sowed, cleaned the pond, hauled manure, cleared trees, sowed another ½ acre with flaxseed and 2 acres with oats, sold two cows, seeded 9 ½ acres with oats for ourselves, Melchoir drove to Philadelphia and sold 30 bushels of wheat at 4/1 [four shillings and one pence per bushel?], sowed 2 3/4 acres of oats, fed the last turnips to the cows, sowed oats for the last time this year, made fence, plowed.

May:  plowed up about 1 ½ acres of old meadow, received a bee swarm, sheared sheep (14 pounds of wool from four sheep), plowed the new land for buckwheat, fed the last oat straw, plowed for buckwheat, made rails and carried wood, began to plow the field to the south, (eight days later) finished plowing.

June:  finished sowing buckwheat (more than five acres), finished making hay (12 little fields), cut 580 sheaves of grain.  By the end of June had harvested 1240 sheaves [presumably winter grains] with 1100 sheaves in the barn along with 140 bundles of hay.

In addition to these farming duties, David Schultz was also a surveyor.  Some of the farm tasks may have been done by hired labor or by sons.
(23 May 06)



Nr. 2313:

David Schultz, a farmer in Pennsylvania in 1750, kept a diary of his daily activities.  This note continues a report on his activities starting with the month of July.

July:  Cut grain and bound 1680 sheaves [bundles].  Finished picking flax [I believe we would say pulling flax].  Began to mow oats.  Sold two sheep.  Bound 65 sheaves and repeated the next day.  Then in the next two days, bound 113 sheaves for a total of 370 sheaves.  Began the second plowing.  Hauled manure.

August:  Finished the second plowing and shifted the fences.  Threshed wheat [may have needed seed to plant or to eat].  Began to sow a little [probably winter grains].  For four days continued seeding.

September:  The brown cow had a calf.  Began to sow.  Finished sowing rye and wheat.  Joseph mowed.  Began to sow buckwheat.  Continued to sow buckwheat.  Rode to Philadelphia [about 30 miles one way] for the election [required three days to do this].

October:  October 1 was election day.  Returned home on the 2nd.  Hauled the second crop of hay in.  Cut buckwheat.  Threshed some buckwheat.  Continued threshing buckwheat until finished.  Finished making the second crop of hay.  Made cider from my apples.  Began to dig out the turnips.  Brought in the cabbage.  [Apples, turnips, and cabbage were very popular with the Germans.]

November:  Cleaned the stables.  Made a new bake oven.  Had a flax breaker come in.

December:  Had much rain and high water.  Threshed rye.  Cleaned rye to get 15 bushels.  Cleaned the stables.  Butchered the first hog to get 95 pounds of meat.  Threshed wheat.  Butchered at Abraham Jaeckels.  Cleaned wheat for 9 ½ bushels.  Sold the wheat.

David Schultz was also a surveyor but the report above omits his mentions of it.  Because he had surveyed so much land in the community, he was called in to clarify land disputes.  His standing in the community was high and he was sought as a fair judge and arbitrator.

Flax and wool were the choices for cloth.  Cotton was unknown.  [Christian Herr, when he died in 1750, left an enormous amount of flax cloth which was the second most valuable thing in his personal estate.]
(30 May 06)



Nr. 2314:

Always, I am amazed at how little there was in the estate inventories of the Eighteenth-Century citizens.  I have before me the inventory of Christian Herr, son of Hans Herr.  These two men came in 1710 with their families and settled in the “Pennsylvania Dutch” country.  In fact, they were the start of the German settlements in the interior of Pennsylvania.  Christian Herr was a Mennonite minister, a farmer, an orchardist, and a distiller, who prospered in America.

The most valuable thing in the 1750 inventory was cash of more than 130 pounds.  In addition, he had lent 25 pounds for which he had notes.  The next most valuable item was linen cloth worth 40 pounds.  Selecting those things which pertain more closely to agriculture, there were two stills worth 36 pounds, one apple mill, a cider press, two plows and a harrow, two old wagons (worth in total to 4 pounds, which meant there could have been but a little iron in them), a chain, single tree, flax break, hoes, forks, one wind mill (?), one young mare worth 14 pounds, a timber chain, a cross cut saw, scales, one horse collar and other harness, carpentry tools, 24 hogsheads (barrels), 14 bags, 141 pounds of hemp, one cow and a heifer, one grind stone, one axe, and old scythes.  All items in the house and on the farm were valued at more than 352 pounds and this did not include any slaves.  While some of our Germanna had more valuable estates, the total for them was usually inflated by the value of slaves.

Since he was an older man, Christian may have cut back some on his farming.  Probably he had given up clearing land by this time.  He had only one horse which may have been used for riding and a cow plus a heifer.  How he obtained the power to pull the plow and the wagons is not clear.  Perhaps he concentrated on the orchard and planted only a small measure of grains, gardens, and flax.

I have a small measure of identification with Christian at whose house I am a docent.  Incidentally, I will be there this next Saturday (the first Saturday of each month is usually my day to lead tours there).  The house itself is called the Hans Herr House, even though it legally belonged to Christian (do a Google search on Hans Herr House).  It was built by the community and served as a Mennonite Meeting House for more than a century (it is the oldest extant Mennonite meeting house in the Americas).  To accommodate a large number of worshipers, it was an abnormally large dwelling.  In the Eighteenth Century, the Mennonites met in homes, not in churches, as do the Amish even yet today.

I am amazed at how little our ancestors had for farming.  If they were to come back today, they would be amazed (and probably totally unbelieving) at the methods and tools in farming today.
(31 May 06)



Nr. 2315:

Sandra Yelton sends me the material below which is a change of subject from recent Notes:

The Palatine emigration in 1717 was much larger than we tend to think of based on our knowledge of the Second Germanna Colony.  Klaus Wust estimated that the number of emigrants was in the order of one thousand Germans.  Many of these arrived at Philadelphia.  The numbers there were so large that the Pennsylvania government became concerned about so many “foreigners” coming to their colony.  They instituted several laws pertaining to checking of their health and registration; however, they were not enforced until 1727 when the lists of emigrants began.

We have discussed here that several of the late arrivals to London in the summer of 1717 did not make it to America that year.  We have seen a few names who appeared in Virginia a little later and perhaps were the basis of the story that there was a third colony.  This has created a problem in defining what constitutes a member of the Second Colony.  Does the colony consist of those who left their homes in German speaking areas in 1717 and arrived eventually in Virginia, or does the colony consist of those who arrived in Virginia in 1717?  These are different groups.

Ms. Yelton sent evidence of the confusion and the problems which the large number of Germans in 1717 created.  One English plan (of 6 September 1717) called for transporting 500 Palatines to the Bahama Isles.  The cost for provision, clothing, bedding, passage, and medicine was estimated to be 2500 pounds.  The undertakers were to pay 5 pounds per person for their support and the sponsors were to be repaid by the produce of the Palatines in 3 or 4 years.  It was noted that a person in London would procure 50 pounds per year for a minister and 30 pounds per year for a schoolmaster for them.  A postscript says that, "100 of the people in the 500 have sold themselves for servants to Pennsylvania for five years.  The 400 who are left cannot do the same for the lack of masters.  The Palatines have sold their clothes and utensils to subsist themselves and will soon be in a miserable condition."

Further information can be found in the Public Record Office in CO 23 /12. No. 76.  A digest is in the Calendar of State Papers [August 1717 to December 1718, Cecil Headlam, editor. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1930; Kraus Reprint, Vaduz, 1964, p. 29.]

One wonders if the 100 who sold themselves as servants to Pennsylvania consituted what we would normally call the Second Colony.  Most likely what is meant is that the people made an agreement with the ship's captain to transport them to Pennsylvania in exchange for the money the captain could receive by selling their service in Pennsylvania.

There are other items on this general subject for following Notes.
(01 Jun 06)



Nr. 2316:

The large number of Palatines in the late summer and early fall of 1717 in London was not easily resolved.  A memorandum of October 3, 1717, shows a new element has entered the picture as this material from Sandra Yelton shows..

[My Lords order] Mr. Colby, [one of the] Commissioners for Transports, to provide all things necessary for the transportation of the 200 Wurtembergers and Palatines mention in a list transmitted to my Lords by Lord Sunderland pursuant to his Majesty’s command and for all such others of the said poor [Palatines & c] as will go to Holland.  The List and a copy of Lord Sutherland’s letter is to be sent to Mr. Colby.  [Calendar of Treasury, January to December 1717, vol. 21. William A. Shaw. London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1957. p. 50]

This last note seems to have followed almost immediately by:

Treasury Warrants October 4, 1717, William Lowndes to Mr. Coleby.  His Majesty is willing to be at the expense of transporting back to Holland so many of the poor foreigners lately arrived here from Wurtemberg... My Lords direct you to take up shipping upon the best and cheapest terms for their immediate transport to Rotterdam [. . .] [Calendar of Treasury, vol. 21, p. 600.] [John Vat was asked to assist with the return of those to Holland.]

*****

Though these items are sketchy, it is clear that the number of Germans who arrived in London late in the shipping year, say about August, was larger than I had thought previously.  Only a fraction of them were able to go on to America.  Apparently about one hundred were able to secure transportation, presumably with Capt.  Tarbett on the ship Scott, on the basis that they would provide for their transportation costs by their agreement to offer themselves as servants in Pennsylvania.

Much earlier in these notes, I had written of the petition of a number of the Germans asking for transportation costs back to Germany.  At that time, I had noted that there was no evidence that the petition had been approved.  It now appears that His Majesty [King George] agreed to pay their costs back.  How many accepted this offer is not clear.
(02 Jun 06)



Nr. 2317:

I have spoken about the late departure of the Second Colony from their homes in Germany.  Perhaps, I can put this in a better perspective.

In the year 1738, there were many ships that left Germany.  I do not have the departure dates for them but I have the arrival dates for them.  On the average, ten weeks at sea would be a good time for a passage over the Atlantic.  A few ships made it in less time than this, but ten weeks will suffice for our present needs.

The first ship arrived at Philadelphia on September 5 so we might conclude that the ship left Rotterdam, its point of departure, in late June.  The passengers on it probably left their home in early May, perhaps April even.

Two more ships arrived at Philadelphia on September 9, then one each on the 11th, 16th, 19th, and two more on the 20th of September.  Backing up ten weeks from the middle of September, we see that the first ships left Rotterdam in June or perhaps in July.  Again the passengers would have left their homes in April and May.

There were serious delays at Rotterdam because of the large number of emigrants in 1738.  The shippers had to find additional vessels and to convert them into passenger-carrying ships.  So the emigrants were delayed seriously at Rotterdam while they waiting for ships to take them.  This again tends to confirm the typical early departure dates from Germany.

We have the details on one particular ship and one set of emigrants.  Those from Freudenberg in 1738 left there in March and their ship, the Oliver, did not leave Rotterdam until late June.  So it was three months from the time they left their homes until their ship went to sea.

In 1717, we know that many members of the Second Colony did not leave from Gemmingen until July 12.  In this year, the shipping of passengers was not well developed.  The emigrants had to find their way to London and then they had to find a ship to America (usually Pennsylvania).  We find the members of the Second Colony in the church records in London in August and early September.  So this is an unusually late time to be looking for ships to Pennsylvania.

In recent notes, we have seen that perhaps as many as 500 Germans were looking for a passage about the first of September.  This included the members of the Second Colony.  This was very late in the year and there was a great difficulty in finding ships.
(05 Jun 06)



Nr. 2318:

E. W. Wallace, a frequent contributor to this list, sent me a snippet of history which is pertinent to the recent discussions.  One of her ancestors, Joh. Leon’d Holsteiner, came on the ship James Goodwill which arrived at Philadelphia on 11 September 1728.  This cleared the English port Deal on the 15th of June in 1728.  Whereas I used the figure of ten weeks as the average for the time it took to cross the Atlantic, in this case it took almost thirteen weeks from England to Philadelphia.  For the total time of his trip we would need to add the time from his home to Rotterdam plus the time it took to go from Rotterdam to Deal.  Therefore, we could say with some confidence, that he left his home in late April or early May.

Klaus Wust once said to me, in answer to my question of why so many Germans left in 1717, “War.” Now I get confused about all of the wars that went on in southwest Germany so I can’t say just which war it was.  Perhaps the accumulation of all of the wars contributed to the decision to leave.  I hope that his posthumous book on the whole process of German emigration will clarify some of these questions.  I am inclined to believe that the 1717 emigration was another of the mass emigrations which swept Germany periodically.

An even bigger mystery to me is why so many of the Germans left very late in the year.  The Gemmingen residents did not leave until July 12.  I have been showing that this was not a typical departure date.  By the time that these late departers arrived in London, the ships carrying passengers had left.  The documents from the Public Record Office show that perhaps five hundred people were stranded in London in late August.  For a while, there was a plan for sponsors to take them on to Bermuda.  Apparently, no sponsors came forth.

Then it was noted that one hundred of these five hundred people had obtained transportation to Pennsylvania where they would become servants of others who purchased them.  I believe that these one hundred people (all numbers are probably approximations) were the members of the Second Colony.  Some of the documents written by members of the Second Colony imply that they had paid for their transportation, but I believe it was more likely that they were planning on paying for their transportation by selling themselves as indentured* servants.

Of the remaining four hundred people, we have some evidence that they petitioned the Crown for money to pay their transportation back to Germany.  Apparently, the King did approve the transportation costs back to Rotterdam.  We know that some of the people who did petition later became Germanna residents.  What happened to these people in the year or so after September of 1717 is not clear.  I am inclined to believe that they never left England but continued to stay there and perhaps remained in contact with the church of St. Mary.
(06 Jun 06)

(*An indentured servant was a person receiving some material gain (such as money, or, in this case, payment of passage money) who was bound into the service of another as a servant by a contract for a specified term.  It appears that the term for the Second Colony was 7 years.  GWD)



Nr. 2319:

Sandra Yelton wishes me to emphasize that Andreas Mielke contributed to the research in the German churches in London.  In the last feature article on the germanna.com web site, he was given as the lead author of that work.  But to go even further, I will restate that he has found more, previously unknown, documents pertaining to the history of the Germanna Colonies than anyone.

After this note, there will be a short break in them due to the needs of family affairs.  Perhaps they will resume next week.

In discussing the history of the Second Colony and its relationship to the so-called Third Colony which, I believe, is a misnomer, I have always been troubled by the fact that these slightly-later immigrants knew that the Second Colony was in Virginia.  Given that communication was very slow in those days, how did the 1719 immigrants know that the 1717 immigrants were in Virginia?  After all, the 1717 Second Colony immigrants had all planned to go to Pennsylvania.

We have seen in some earlier Notes that some Germans were in London in 1717, but they did not go on to Virginia until 1719.  Some of these people petitioned for the expenses to return to Germany, and it appears that King George did agree to this.  Still, if George did pay their way to Rotterdam, which is what the documents suggested, how did they pay their way from Rotterdam to the villages from which they departed?  Or did they never leave London?

I am inclined to think some of them may have remained in London.  Contact with the 1717 departees might have been maintained through the St. Mary’s Church, which was a focal point for the Germans.

What we do know is that the history of the Second Colony, and the others who followed almost immediately after them, was not simple.  (The same could also be said of the First Colony, whose sojourn in London was also confused and uncertain.)

All of these early Germans must have had their doubts in London as to whether they would see the new world.  This is a terrible situation to be in, not to know what is coming next.  Uncertainty plagued them at most of the steps.  We would do well to remember them for keeping their objectives in sight and persevering in their endeavors.
(07 Jun 06)



Nr. 2320:

I have been writing about the troubles of the “Second Colony” in getting past London.  Let me do a few notes on the land and the region from which most of them came.

Many of them came from the Kraichgau which is not readily found on maps.  It was not sharply defined, either by geography or by political alignment.  Roughly though, it is south of Heidelberg, west of Heilbronn, and northeast of Karlsruhe.  This is the region from which many, but not all, of the Virginia Second Germanna Colony came.  Historically and politically, the Kraichgau refers to a scattered collection of tiny, semi-independent territories.  These little territories united in a loose, voluntary confederation of knights early in the modern period known as the Kraichgauer Ritterschaftskanton.  They lie in the area where three larger states meet, namely Baden-Durlach, the Palatinate, and Wuerttemberg.  Perhaps the uncertainty of just which of these states the small territories lay led to the rise of the power of the individual knights who banded together in a confederation to try and protect their semi-independence.

In 1599, membership in the confederation consisted of seventy-five knights, some of whom were very poor while some had more resources.  These seventy-five knights owned seventy-two separate territories, the average size of which was fourteen square miles.  This would have been an area not quite four miles by four miles and, if one imagines a village at the center, the farthest reach from the village would be about two miles.  Most of these little areas had a church.  The general characterization of the parishes would be subsistence-farming peasant communities.  A few of the parishes, such as Sinsheim and Schwaigern, were market towns.  In 1809, after a period of steady growth, the population was about seventy-eight persons per square kilometer or just about two hundred persons per square mile.  Since a square mile consists of 640 acres, there would have been about three acres per person.

In the Seventeenth Century, especially during the Thirty Years’ War, the population was severely reduced.  In the last half of the Seventeenth Century, the population was rebuilt with thousands of Swiss immigrants and some Huguenots.  The Lutheran church dominated the region, but many belonged to the Reformed or Catholic churches.  There was a sprinkling of Mennonites (such as Hans Herr) and Jews.

In time, after the 1599 confederation of the knights, some of the parishes came under the control or supervision of the larger states.  The Palatinate, in particular, gained political control of some of the parishes, even while Hesse was in control of some of the Lutheran churches.

The inhabitants were in close contact with the rulers whom they might see frequently since they did not live far apart even though their standards of living differed substantially.
(12 Jun 06)



Nr. 2321:

The last note, this one, and some of the following will be taken from the book “Hopeful Journeys” by Aaron Spencer Fogleman (University of Pennsylvania Press).  Professor Fogleman mentions that 75 knights were joined together by 1599 in a federation which became the Kraichgau.  Of the 73 small territories that they represented, Prof. Fogleman discusses only the 53 more northern parishes.  These included Eppingen, Schwaigern, Sinsheim, and others almost up to Heidelberg.  Of the known villages of the Second Germanna Colony, there were some that were not included in these 53 parishes.  This would include Neuenbuerg from where the Blankenbakers, Thomases, Scheibles, and Schlucter came.  The political jurisdiction here was somewhat different, as Neuenbuerg was in the land controlled by the Catholic Bishops of Speyer.  The 53 parishes did not include anything on the west side of the Rhine River (Nicholas Yager, for example), and probably not Oetisheim to the south (John Broyles).  Since Fogleman does not name the parishes which were in the 73 but not in the 53, I cannot say for certain whether the villages such as Sulzfeld were in the Kraichgau.

In the Eighteenth Century, fourteen of the northern Kraichgau parishes came under the control of the Palatine Electorate.  Still, in the Eighteenth Century, thirteen of the parishes were still a part of the Kraichgauer Ritterschaftskanton.  The remaining twenty-six parishes belonged to a variety of lesser nobles, none of whom possessed more than three parishes each.  Three of the parishes maintained the rights of a city, including the right to hold a market.  Most of the inhabitants of these market towns were free from serfdom.  The remaining forty-seven parishes were villages where the inhabitants practiced subsistence farming.

There was a considerable diversity among the Kraichgau emigrants.  Of those who went to Pennsylvania, the usual destination, 74% were Lutheran, 21% were Reformed, 2% were Mennonite, and 1% were Catholic (2% are unknowns).  Of 2,000 Kraichgauers who went to Pennsylvania, there were many Swiss names who had previously immigrated to the Kraichgau from Switzerland.

In the Kraichgau, there was one important difference from the surrounding areas.  Here, no strong state was developing as in Catholic Austria or Lutheran Brandenburg-Prussia.  No regional power controlled the area such as Lutheran Wuerttemberg or Catholic Bavaria.  The weaker states such as Baden-Durlach or the Palatine Electorate did not dominate the Kraichgau.  Instead, tiny loosely united principalities such as the von Neippergs (Schwaigern) or von Gemmingens (Gemmingen) were the norm.  During the rebuilding period of the last half of the Seventeenth Century after the Thirty Years’ War and in the first part of the Eighteenth Century, development in the Kraichgau took a different turn than in the larger areas which adjoined.
(13 Jun 06)



Nr. 2322:

After the Thirty Years’ War (1618 to 1648), the development in the Kraichgau was a conflict between the small rulers and the inhabitants.  The knights and lesser rulers tried to reassert the status and authority they had lost during the decades of destruction in the Seventeenth Century.  They clashed with the villagers, mostly farmers, who were struggling to rebuild their communities.  During these clashes, the villagers often sought out the protection of one of the larger states for protection against their local rulers.  The local rulers had no desire to see the larger states such as Wuerttemberg, Baden, or the Palatine Electorate exert any influence in their small realms.

The inhabitants of the northern Kraichgau owned allegiance to dozens of separate aristocratic rulers.  The rulers who were not in the Palatine Electorate found themselves in a hostile environment in this early modern period.  They lay between three larger German states and also found themselves between two of the early superpowers, France and Austria.  The knights of the Kraichgau struggled to maintain their independent sovereignty over their tiny holdings.  For as long as possible, they skillfully played off the surrounding princes against the emperor in Vienna.

The greatest enemy before the Thirty Years’ War was the Palatine Electorate, where the official religion alternated between Catholicism and the Reformed faith.  The knights had quickly become Lutheran during the Reformation and tended to have closer relations with Lutheran Wuerttemberg.  Local wars inclined the knights to the protection of the Catholic Habsburgs from the Protestant princes in order to maintain their independence.  Vienna welcomed all allies it could find in its struggle against the princes.

Before 1620, the Kraichgau parishes were overpopulated but the Thirty Years’ War and the wars of the late Seventeenth Century nearly obliterated village after village in the Kraichgau while the knights tried to maintain their territories.  The knights were so weak militarily that force could do nothing to preserve their realms.

The biggest losses were in the population itself.  Adelshofen lost twenty-eight families, which was about half of its population, during the Thirty Years’ War and was again plundered during the 1670's and the 1680's.  Ittlingen lay in ashes and the population of Kleingartach dropped to about one-third during the War.  Massenbachhausen lost its entire population during the Thirty Years’ War and was resettled by outsiders.  In 1674 the French took Sinsheim and fifteen years later they burned it to the ground.  This pattern of destruction was wide spread throughout the Kraichgau as a result of the Thirty Years’ War and the later conflicts.

[We notice many gaps in the church records in the late Seventeenth Century.]
(14 Jun 06)



Nr. 2323:

As the knights in the Northern Kraichgau emerged from the long series of disasters in the Seventeenth Century, they struggled to maintain their independent existence.  They saw enemies on two fronts, the surrounding powers and their own subjects.

The motivations for the knights were both political and financial.  They needed new revenues to rebuild their own residences and the infrastructure of the villages.  Having lost the power to direct the communities during the war years, they sought to reestablish their authority.  The new residences and village structures were expensive, especially because of the huge demographic losses suffered during the war years had eroded the tax base.  Those that survived faced double or even quadrupled burdens.

The knights of the Kraichgau attempted to raise the necessary funds by increasing the feudal dues, and by vigorously enforcing payment of the traditional dues.  The hope of the knights was that new structures for the church and the community and new residences for themselves would put them clearly at the top.

The clash between the nobles and the villagers in the Kraichgau reached its most intense levels in the late 1710's and early 1720's.  It is no wonder that this period was the start of intense emigration to North America.  Thus, many of the emigrants were experienced in political struggles, especially with their local rulers.

In Ittlingen, a village north of Eppingen and northwest of Schwaigern, the history shows a clear pattern of conflict between the villagers and the rulers of the villagers.  In 1699, the rulers attempted to increase duties in violation of an agreement dating back to 1579 but the inhabitants succeeded in blocking this by complaining to the Reichsritterschaftsdirecktion (an imperial court in Heilbronn).  This was the first of many appeals that the inhabitants would make to state authorities for protection against the local nobility.  In the late 1710's the impoverished, heavily indebted von Kochendorf family began to increase feudal dues to pay for a new residence.  They also began enclosing the common fields for their own private use.  They banned meetings of the village assembly and began selling off village interests to outsiders.  A salt monopoly was sold to a Jewish merchant, and the 200-year old common bakery to a private individual.  They began inflicting excessive punishments for slight infractions of local ordinances.  A strong warning sign developed when the Herrschaft (rulers) took over the cellar of the town hall, which was village property, and converted it into a jail.
(16 Jun 06)



Nr. 2324:

The Ittlingers (see last Note) did not take the encroachments by the von Kochendorfs (and the von Gemmingens) lightly.  When von Kochendorfs built a fence around the village meadow, the villagers tore it down and repeated this action twice more.  They also expelled the Jewish merchant who had bought the salt monopoly, but they were unsuccessful in blocking the establishment of the jail.  Seeing no relief, the villagers submitted a twelve-point complaint to the Reichsritterschaftsdirecktion (an imperial court) in Heilbronn for relief.

The von Gemmingens and von Kockensdorfs considered the villagers of Ittlingen in rebellion.  Still determined to exact revenues for maintaining their presence in the parish, and for pulling themselves out of poverty, they took extreme measures in 1720.  First, they raised the fees for grazing rights for hogs on the village common which had been established by agreement in 1584.  When the villagers refused to pay and complained to Heilbronn again, the von Gemmingens and von Kochendorfs brought in twenty armed men to take the village hogs.  Sunday morning church attendance was mandatory in Ittlingen (typical of most villages in the Kraichgau) and, while the villagers worshiped, the Herrshafts’ (Lords’) men made their way into the forests and led the entire village herd of hogs (160 head) to Gemmingen, about five miles away.

That afternoon the Ittlingers were up in arms about the theft of their hogs.  The citizens met at the town hall where their discussions were led by two tavern keepers and a blacksmith.  Young men had followed the trail of the hogs to Gemmingen.  The discussion had many points of view.  The tavern keepers asked everyone to come forward, place his hand on a Bible, and swear they would not give up the struggle against the Herrschaft until they had won.  Only one villager dissented from this.  Instead of a direct assault on the von Gemmingens, they voted to register a complaint to Heilbronn which ruled in their favor.

The Herrschaft ignored the imperial court’s ruling and began selling the hogs at bargain prices as they flooded the marketplace.  They also threatened to take the villagers’ cattle and to jail the tavern keepers.  Then the twenty armed men tried to steal the village sheep.  The men were caught in the act and after shots were fired, the Herrschaft, fearing possible imperial intervention, sought a truce.  The imperial court mediated the dispute and the Herrschaft made a partial payment for the lost hogs.

The compromise did little to ease the tension between the Herrschaft and the villagers.  Both sides prepared for more conflict.  The von Gemmingens hand-picked a new Lutheran minister who began preaching obedience to the authorities.  The pastor went too far on this theme and the villagers, who had won the admiration of adjacent villagers for their stand against the Herrschaft, were now the objective of laughter directed at them.
(16 Jun 06)



Nr. 2325:

The Ittlingen citizens, being very unhappy with their preacher, sent a delegation of six men to the preacher’s home where they demanded he revise his style of preaching or else they would go to church elsewhere and not support him financially.  The preacher’s response did nothing to gain the favor with this group.  He replied that he had a theological degree from the University of Heidelberg and that it was not necessary for him to defend his style of preaching to them.  At this point, the von Gemmingens and the von Kochendorfs once again backed down.  They informed the preacher that he would receive no funds from them for construction of a new parsonage and church.  This gesture allowed tempers to cool.  The preacher toned down his sermons and managed to keep his post for more than twenty years.

Thus the Old World background of the Kraichgauers in America was not one where democracy flourished, but the villagers were by no means apolitical.  They reacted vigorously to any perceived threat to the community.  In this border region between the larger powers of southwest Germany, the villagers turned to the imperial state to resist the encroachments of the abusive local aristocrats.  That is, instead of appealing to the rulers of Wuerttemberg, Baden, or the Palatine Electorate, they turned to the court in Vienna.  They were not about to invite the ruler of Wuerttemberg, say, to intervene, for that might result in the local ruler being replaced by the court of Wuerttemberg, which would probably be even worse for them.

There had been agreements between the villagers and the knights going back to the 1500's.  These agreements set the fees and duties for the villagers, and they did not forget them.  The attempts to increase the fees and the duties by the knights were resisted strenuously.

One result of these conflicts between the villagers and the knights in the Kraichgau during the Eighteenth Century was the development of stronger, more cohesive, peasant villages and towns.  Infused with immigrants from adjacent areas, especially Switzerland, and with the need to fight against the encroachments of the local aristocracy, the communities grew stronger.  It could not be said that democracy developed, far from it.  The villagers did grow more political and learned that their actions could be a force for bettering their life.  Many of the leaders in this movement became the leaders of the Germans in America.

Most of the inhabitants of the 47 villages and 6 towns in the Northern Kraichgau practiced subsistence agriculture, or a craft, or, perhaps, a mixture of the two.  Villages such as Ittlingen produced virtually no agricultural surplus.  In this general region, it was not possible to dispose of any quantity of goods simply because no one could afford to buy very much, if any.
(19 Jun 06)


(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 NINETY-THIRD set of Notes, Nr. 2301 through Nr. 2325.)

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 2301 through 2325.

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